Three in a Row
by Pat Rupp
After stumbling out of the gate a bit with three consecutive losses, the Tigers are on a mini-roll after a 5-1 South Suburban Conference victory over Lakeville North Saturday afternoon at Schmitz-Maki Arena.
Farmington has now won three straight, moved above .500 in the South Suburban (3-2) and, in general, is playing more like the hockey team coach Jon Holmes envisioned when the season began.
“We still have a lot of work to do, but I do feel the team is starting to find its identity,” Holmes said. “With only two seniors on the roster and having both captains graduate from last year it takes a bit to get the jive. But it is definitely happening.”
The Tigers never trailed in their rematch of last season’s Section 1AA title game, jumping to a 2-0 lead after one period on goals by Sadie Long (on the power play from Madison Kadrlik) and Sam Moehle (from Izzy Zwart and Claire Enright). Moehle’s score was a big momentum provider, coming with just three seconds left in the period.
Carly Lancaster made it 3-0 with an unassisted power play goal in the second frame. Farmington scored on two of its three chances on the power play.
“That has certainly been a point of emphasis as of late,” Holmes said. “We like to tinker a ton in the early season to see what works, and we have already gone through several different set ups. Each one has led to a slightly different modification and more chances. The power play is rolling just shy of 30 percent right now which is a good number.”
North finally got on the board with a Jamie Pritzlaff goal midway through the second period but Zwart (from Moehle) restored the Farmington lead to three scores at 14:05 of the second.
Liv Helleson (from Madison and Makenna Kadrlik) tallied the final Farmington goal of the night late in the final period to close out the scoring.
The Tigers had another good day keeping the puck out of their net. A solid defensive effort and another quality performance in net by goalie Ryleigh Furlong (22 saves) resulted in the third straight game in which the locals have allowed just one score by the opposition.
“That’s a result of a combination of events,” Holmes said “We have not allowed a ton of shots in general, and the ones we have allowed have come primarily outside the scoring areas…Ryleigh has also been getting better with each game.”
The Tigers outshot the Panthers 38-23 for the game.
Farmington will be looking to make it four straight in the win column Tuesday night with a road game at Eagan. The Tigers entertain state-rated Eden Prairie on Thursday evening and close out a busy week with a home game against Burnsville Saturday night.