29 January 2014

Boys Hockey: Alone at the top

Jack Erickson scored the game-winner (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington's 10-game winning streak seemed in serious jeopardy after New Prague jumped to a 3-0 first period lead in Tuesday night's Missota Conference showdown at Schmitz-Maki Arena.

But by the time the final horn sounded, however, the Tigers were owners of a thrilling 4-3 win and sitting alone on top of the Missota Conference standings with an 8-0-1 record, a game-and-a-half in front of New Prague (7-1-2).

"This was a good character win, coming back from three down," coach Keith Revels said. "It's not how we drew it up, but a very good response to some adversity."

Each team managed eight shots in the opening period but the Trojans converted on three of theirs early to jump out to what looked like a commanding lead.

"We were as off as we have been for awhile," Revels said. "Nerves and three days with no ice time may have had a bit to do with it."

The most important part of the first period was Farmington's ability to shake off the slow start and pull to within a goal by the first intermission. Jake Trippel (from Chris Fitzgibbons) and Joe Siebenaler (from Justin Novak and Justin Martinsen) netted the Farmington goals.

The home team got the better of the play in the second period and tied the score on Dallas Tucker's score (from Tanner Grubb and Alex Aubrecht) to send the team intto the final 17 minutes of regulation deadlocked at 3-3.

Jack Erickson (from Erik Holmstrom and Devin Bernu) provided the game-winner midway through the final frame, splitting a pair of defenders on his way to the net.

Gage Overby had 14 third period saves (photo by Jim Lindquist)
The Trojans actually outshot the winners over the final period but could not get the puck by Tiger netminder Gage Overby.

"We got back on our heels a bit in the third period," Revels said, "but Gage kept us in it with 14 big saves."

Overby recorded 22 saves in posting his 11th win of the season. Farmington finished with a 27-24 shots on goal advantage for the night.

As the league leader the Tigers  (16-3-1 overall) will have a target on their backs the rest of the way, starting Thursday night when they entertain Holy Angels at Schmitz-Maki Arena. Farmington edged the Stars 6-4 when the two teams played earlier in the season in Richfield.