The Roseau Rams used a hat trick by Max Strand to beat the Crookston Pirates Boys Hockey team 5-0 in a game played Thursday night at the Crookston Sports Center in the regular-season finale for both teams.

1st Period
The Rams would jump out to an early lead in the hockey game when Max Strand carried the puck behind the net and out to the right corner.  Strand then found Isaac Wensloff at the left point and sent a cross-ice pass to him and then had time to sit and wait as the Pirates defenders watched him hold the puck as Strand slid behind the defense to the front of the goalmouth before Wensloff sent the pass back for Strand to redirect top shelf for a 1-0 just 85 seconds into the game.  The Pirates would respond with strong back and forth play for the next few minutes put as the period wore on the Rams exerted their will on the Pirates controlling play in the offensive end.  The Pirates didn’t have many scoring opportunities unless it came on the rush and the Rams would use the Pirates rush up ice to create their second goal.  “Thor Byfuglien would pick up the puck behind his own net and feed up the left wall to Judd Ginther who to the puck to Paul Huglen in the neutral zone.  Huglen threw on the afterburners as he outraced the Pirates to the net cutting left to right before sliding the puck under the left pad of Noah Dragseth for a 2-0 lead with 7:59 to go in the period.  “I thought we looked good there to start the first,” said Pirates coach Josh Hardy.  “It was a little bit of back and forth.  They got a beautiful tip out front to beat Dragseth.  I thought we were up to the challenge the first six to eight minutes then they wore us down a little bit.  I thought Dragsseth played a great period.” The Rams continued to control play the rest of the way as they outshot the Pirates 18-6 in the first period.  

2nd Period
Roseau continued to dominate the game throughout the second period as they outshot the Pirates 20-3 in the second.  However, despite the heavy advantage in shots, zone time and puck control the Rams made minimal impact on the scoreboard.  The lone goal of the period came with 8:42 to go as Paul Huglen flipped the puck to the top of the crease when Max Strand was waiting to redirect the puck into the back of the net for a 3-0.  “It was a tough period,” said Hardy.  “But again, we gave up one goal and we’re still in the hockey game.  We worked so hard in our zone to get the puck out that once we got out of the zone we were out of gas.  I thought Noah Dragseth played maybe his best period of hockey this year and really kept us in there.” The second period would end with some fireworks as Noah Dragseth came high out of the net in an attempt to cover the puck with a few seconds remaining and the Rams Gavin Gunderson who was racing up ice didn’t have time to move and was flipped end over end into the wall.  To the chagrin of both players and coaches, no penalties were called to conclude the period.  Noah Dragseth was banged up on the play and Carter Nelson would replace him in net for the third period.

3rd Period
Max Strand would complete his hat trick with 12:30 to play when the Rams caught the Pirates in a line change and Strand skated unchallenged into the right circle firing a wrist-shot short-side past the new Pirate goaltender to make it 4-0.  Adam Severson would get involved in the scoring when Max Strand found him on the backdoor at the bottom of the right circle and Severson went top shelf as Nelson went post to post to make it 5-0 with 9:23 to play.  “Better safe than sorry there with Dragseth,” said Hardy.  “He took a knee or skate to the ribs so it was the right call, we had to take him out.  Carter played pretty well I thought in relief.  We left him out to dry on a bad line change and then they backdoored him on the second goal.” The Rams outshot the Pirates 14-2 in the third period.  

Crookston ends the regular season with a record of 4-21 and received the 7th seed in the Section 8A playoffs and will host the 10-seed Park Rapids Panthers in a play-in game at 7:00 p.m. at the Crookston Sports Center.  You can hear the game on KROX with a RiverView Health pre-game show at 6:20.  Roseau improves to 16-8-1 on the year.  

Scoring 1st 2nd 3rd Final
Roseau 2 1 2 5


1st Period
15:35 – Ros – Max Strand (Isaac Wensloff)
7:59 – Ros – Paul Huglen (Judd Ginther, Thor Byfuglien)

2nd Period
8:42 – Ros – Max Strand (2) (Paul Huglen, Thor Byfuglien)

3rd Period
12:30 – Ros – Max Strand (3) (Thor Byfuglien)
9:23 – Ros – Adam Severson (Max Strand, Tyler Bjerk) 

Saves 1st 2nd 3rd Final
Andrew Tuttle – Ros 6 1 2 9
Noah Dragseth – Crox 16 19 x 35
Carter Nelson – Crox   x x 12 12