Spirited comeback falls short in OT loss to Eagan
by Pat Rupp
Eagan spoiled a spirited Farmington comeback with a goal just seconds into overtime in a 4-3 South Suburban victory over the Tigers Friday night at Schmitz-Maki Arena.
“It was a very anti-climactic way for us to finish such a strong charge,” Tiger coach Jon Holmes said, “but nonetheless there are more positives than negatives to draw from this game.”
The young Tigers put together two solid periods but in the end it was the second period that decided the contest.
The teams skated through a scoreless first 17 minutes before the Wildcats struck for two scores in the second frame.
“We played a solid first period and an outstanding third,” Holmes said. “It was the second that did us in.”
The Tigers came out on fire in the final stanza, rattling off three scores in a sizzling 1:27 spurt.
Emily Rubins, Marissa Agerter and Morgan Medved all found the net during the surge. Dani Wright assisted on two of the goals. Kenzie Hauswirth and Maddi Oines also earned great set up assists on the goals as well.
The slim one-goal lead lasted just 12 seconds, however, as Eagan tied the count to force the abbreviated overtime period where the visitors scored off the opening face-off.
The Wildcats won the shots-on-goal battle 29-25 with Farmington goalkeeper Emily Auge finishing with 21 saves.
“This group is building some real momentum and confidence heading into the last half of the season,” Holmes said. “Graduating three starting defenders and rolling with seven underclassmen on our forward lines means we are surely going to have ups and downs.
“But we have gained about two seasons worth of experience in the first half of this year with the competition we are facing. The fact that we were able to come back and actually get a 3-2 lead late in this game shows a lot about our determination and skill.”
The contest also featured a match-up of coaches with strong Farmington ties. Eagan co-head coach Kallie Flor was the Tiger female athlete of the year in 2006. Holmes won the male Athlete of the Year award in Farmington as well.
Farmington, 4-6-1 overall and 3-4-1 in the South Suburban Conference, returns to the ice on Monday, December 29 when they host their annual eight-team Louie Schmitz Holiday Classic.
Other teams in the three-day tourney include Rochester Century, Hudson (WI), Shakopee, Northfield, Red Wing, New Prague and Park of Cottage Grove.