CROSBY -- It's difficult to win a hockey game when the other team has more players on the ice.
The Thief River Falls Prowlers took advantage of two late power-play opportunities to pull ahead and win 4-2 in a girls' hockey match against the Pequot Lakes-Crosby-Ironton-Aitkin Blades at the Hallet Community Center Friday night.
With the score tied 2-2 in the last frame the Blades, who didn't have a penalty the first two periods, shot themselves in the foot with five late penalties, giving the upper hand to the Prowlers, who scored two power-play goals to break the tie and win the game.
"All the penalties they got in the third period gave us a chance with the power play to keep our best players on the ice the whole time," Prowlers head coach Troy Hanestad said. "I don't know about the calls necessarily, but it was nice it went our way."
The Blades were cited for three roughing, one hooking and an interference call for a total of 10 minutes. They were at full strength for only five minutes of the third period and were two players down at one point.
"They were critical," Blades coach Tommy Woog said about the infractions. "Two power-play goals put us out of the game just like that. We were in the game and had a chance. We had the momentum. We outshot them. It's tough to come back when you fall down by two goals and there's only three minutes left and two players in the box."
Until the third period the Blades were controlling the game. They outshot the Prowlers 19-6 after two periods, but couldn't find the back of the net. They even had the numbers, with Thief River Falls committing two minor penalties and one major penalty.
"We knew we had to keep the pressure on and we did, but it wasn't in the first five minutes of the game and that's where our letdowns came," said Woog. "We had two defensive breakdowns and we talked about coverage and that was the difference from then on.
"We knew our defense could hold the zone if they could stay and hold the line and that's what they did and it helped our forwards get the puck in deep.
"They had to know that they could do it and they did," said Woog. "They just had to get a break because they were throwing enough stuff at the wall eventually something is going to stick and it did finally."
With the defensive adjustments the Blades concentrated on tying the game.
Jessica Feil opened the scoring for the Blades in the second period when she knocked one in at the 11:13 mark. The Blades finally tied it early in the third when Amanda Monnier slapped the puck past the red line.
The Blades were playing catchup because of two early goals by the Prowlers' Jenny Rude who scored with less than a minute gone in the first and again at the 10:55 point.
"They were really important goals because they got us going a little bit," said Hanestad. "I didn't think we played that well in the first period or the last two either for that matter so it was really nice to come out with an early lead."
Thief River Falls 2 0 2 -- 4
Pequot Lakes-C-I-A 0 1 1 --2
First period -- 1, P-Jenny Rude, 14:07; 2, P-Rude (Abbie Houske) 10:55.
Second period -- 3, B-Jessica Feil, 11:13
Third period -- 4, B-Amanda Monnier, 7:22; 5, P-Steph Hoard (Jenni Gonsorowski) 3:03 ppg; 6, P-Hoard (Rude) 2:43 ppg.
Shots on goal --P-24 B-17
Goalies -- P-Melissa Clark (22 saves); B-Kelly Kanz (13 saves)
Power-play opportunities -- P 2-5, B 0-4
Overall --B 3-9. Next game -- PL-C-I-A hosts Long Prairie Monday at 7:30 p.m.
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