Winning Ways Return
By Pat Rupp
After a frustrating five-game losing streak Farmington got back on the winning track with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Shakopee in a South Suburban Conference match-up played Saturday at Schmitz-Maki Arena.
Earlier in the week, they Tigers dropped a 4-2 verdict to league-leading and No. 6 state-ranked Lakeville South at Schmitz-Maki. The Cougars have their eyes set on the 2021-22 conference championship with their perfect 12-0 league record, two full games ahead of second-place Burnsville.
The 1-1week leaves Farmington’s overall record at 7-10; 5-7 in the South Suburban, good enough for seventh place in the standings.
Farmington 2 Shakopee 1
The Tigers got the better of the play against the Sabers, outshooting them 22-10 over the first two periods yet found themselves on the short end of a 1-0 score heading to the final intermission.
“The first period was pretty pedestrian,” Farmington coach Jon Holmes said. “We weren’t getting the puck to the middle of the ice and were not forcing their goalie to take a defensive stance.
“After that we were much better but were still not able to capitalize on some grade A scoring chances. Fortunately, good special teams play helped us score a couple late in the third to pull it out.”
Kenna Kadrlik netted the first Farmington goal on the power play at the 14:17 mark of the third on assists from Sam Moehle and Madison Kadrlik.
Moehle celebrated her return from the COVID protocols list with the game-winner 14 seconds later on assists from Katie Klotz and Madison Kadrlik.
“In the end it boiled down to special teams play,” Holmes said. “We were able to kill off their chance and score on ours.”
Addison Moudry finished with 18 saves in recording her sixth win of the 2021-22 season.
The Tigers outshot the Sabers by a decisive 34-19 count.
Lakeville South 4 Farmington 2
With Moehle still sidelined, the offense struggled and the Tigers found themselves playing catch-up most of the night.
South outshot Farmington 27-8 over the first two periods and took a 2-0 lead into the final frame.
The Farmington deficit doubled early in the final frame when the Cougars scored two more times in a lightning-quick span of 17 seconds.
Abby Gehrke (from Ava Johnson and Kenna Kadrlik) got her team on the board 90 seconds later and late in the third, Kenna Kadrlik pulled the Tigers within two scores on assists from Madison Kadrlik and Gehrke.
Kieley Curow drew the goaltending assignment for Farmington and put in a good effort, stopping 36 of 40 shots sent her way. The Cougars doubled up the Tigers in the shots on goal department, 40-20.
“Kieley played really well and kept us in the game,” Holmes said. “We got beat to a lot of puck the first two period.
“We have the ability to outwork the other team but don’t always commit to doing it. When we play with a blue-collar mentality we are fun to watch and the bench is alive. When we don’t it is just the opposite.”
The Tigers have lost twice to South this season, but Holmes said he sees another match-up with the Cougars down the road.
“We almost certainly will see them again in the playoffs,” he said. “We will be a different team by the then.”
The Tigers continue South Suburban Conference play this week with a pair of road games: Thursday at Lakeville North and Saturday at Prior Lake.