04 January 2014

Girls Hockey: Resilient Tigers win again

Tyler Words scored the final Tiger goal (photo by Jim Lindquist)
What a difference a couple of weeks can make in a hockey season.

In mid-December the Tigers were working hard but had little to show for their efforts. The offense wasn't getting a lot of shots and the outlook for the rest of the season was looking anything but rosy.

Fast forward to the first week in January following Friday night's 5-3 Missota Conference win over Holy Angels at Schmitz-Maki Arena. That same team has now four of its last five starts and raised its once anemic record to 6-9-1.

 "The last three weeks have been very eye-opening for the girls," coach Jon Holmes said. "They are beginning to see their dedication, hard work, and determination pay off. We certainly have much work left to get where these girls need to be by the end of the season, but their recent success is very well-earned."

Farmington led the entire game although the Stars made things interesting with a couple of power play scores early in the final period.

Breanna Raske (from Ellie Moser) and Maddi Oines (from Megan Stivers) scored first period goals for the winners before second period scores from Oines (from Michaela Tonsager and Stivers) and Shelby Klotz (from Moser) made it 4-1 heading into the final intermission.

Shelby Klotz netted the third Farmington goal (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Then came the two Holy Angels' power play goals and all of a sudden it was a one-goal game with 15:29 still to play.

"We still must be cognizant of the small battles we have to overcome throughout the year and not trade one good habit for a former bad one that plagued us for the first part of the season," Holmes said.

Tyler Words (from Rachael Welzin) gave the Tigers what they needed with a goal midway through the final frame to put the game away.

Farmington finished with a dominant 45-15 edge in shots on goal, a number Holmes said illustrates how far his team has come in a short period of time.

"In the beginning of the year we were averaging 15 shots per game," he said. "In the last three weeks we have been averaging 31. That is a huge turnaround.  T

"The biggest piece that really shows this team's character though is not that they have doubled their shots on goal in a very short time, but that they stuck with the practice and game plans for weeks despite the goals not coming."

Molly Singewald picked up the victory in goal, stopping 12 of 15 shots.

The Tigers will try to extend their three-game winning streak Tuesday when they travel to Northfield for a Missota Conference contest. Farmington shut out the Raiders 1-0 when the team met earlier at Schmitz-Maki.