21 January 2014

Seniors add another chapter to storybook finish

Seniors scored all of the points in the win over Owatonna (photo by Jim Lindquist)
It was Senior Night for the Tigers in their final home game of the regular season against Owatonna Thursday night at Schmitz-Maki Arena and the seniors did all of the heavy lifting in a thrilling 3-2 overtime win over the Huskies.

The victory continued the late season surge for coach Jon Holmes' team which stretched its current win streak to five games. The Tigers have won nine of their last 11 outings to raise their record above the .500 level at 11-10-1.

Senior Megan Stivers got the home team off to a good start with a first period goal assisted by classmate Breanna Raske for a 1-0 lead heading into the first break.

Scootie Donnelly gets a hug after scoring the game-winner (photo by Jim Lindquist)
The Huskies countered with the only score of the second period but Stivers (on an assist from Brooke Raske) scored her second of the night to give the Tigers back the lead early in the third.

That lead held until a disputed icing call late in the game created a face-off in the Farmington zone with 20 seconds remaining in regulation. Owatonna pulled its goalie, won the face-off and with the extra attacker forced overtime with a score in the final 10 seconds.

"That would have really taken not only the momentum out of many teams, but also would have killed their spirit," Holmes said. "This group collectively came together at the third period/overtime break, moved forward and acknowledged they still had a goal to accomplish and they did it."

To cap off the night's festivities, captain Scootie Donnelly did the honors in the first three minutes of the extra session on a rush up the boards that ended with a wrist shot that beat the Huskie goalie to her short side.

"It was a very fitting goal for a senior captain to get with this being our last home game of the season," Holmes said. "What a great past few weeks with three seniors getting game winning goals."

Megan Stivers scored the first two goals (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Molly Singewald had another big night in the nets for the winners, stopping 17 of 19 shots and picking up her 11th win of the season.

"We spend the last three games of the regular season on the road against conference rivals," Holmes said. "We are currently in third place in the conference and we want to keep that spot with a solid finish. We know we won't be able to catch the leaders, but we can certainly make their race interesting by causing some havoc."

The Tigers begin their final three-game road trip with a Thursday night date with state-ranked Red Wing at Prairie Island Arena.