On to the finals
by Pat Rupp
Farmington (6-6-1) led from the outset in a 5-1 victory over Park of Cottage Grove in the championship semifinals of the Louie Schmitz Holiday Classic played Tuesday evening at Schmitz-Maki Arena.
The victory vaulted the Tigers into Wednesday afternoon’s title game against state-rated Red Wing, a 4-3 winner over New Prague in its semifinal match-up.
Ellie Moser, who sat out the tourney opener because of illness, came back strong in the win over Park, scoring the lone goal of the first period and adding a shorthanded score in the closing seconds of the third to cap the win.
“We played a pretty solid three periods,” coach Jon Holmes said. “We had many opportunities offensively and we limited their attempts to under 20 which is always a goal.
“We still need to keep working on our transitioning so we are not giving up too many odd-man rushes. We had a fair share of those again but Emily (Auge) did a nice job shutting them down.”
Kenzie Hauswirth (from Carly Simon and Mikala Revels) picked up her 12th goal of the season to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead after two periods.
Park made it a one-goal game early in the final frame before the winners rattled off three straight goals, one each by Morgan Medved and Marissa Agerter and Moser’s second of the contest.
Agerter and Michaela Tonsager assisted on Medved’s goal and Medved and Dani Wright recorded assists on Agerter’s goal. Moser’s second score came on an assist from Maddi Oines.
Goaltender Auge came within a goal of posting her second straight shutout in the tournament, stopping 16 of 17 shots. Farmington won the shots-on-goal battle by a 29-17 margin.
“All three lines played well and were able to gain zone time and chances,” Holmes said. “Our defense has also been getting more comfortable with each game...We will definitely need this type of play if we want to pick up a few more wins the second time through the South Suburban Conference.”
The Tigers will have to be hitting on all cylinders in the title game as former Missota Conference rival Red Wing (12-4) enters the contest ranked eighth among Class A schools in Minnesota.
“The important thing for us is the entire team is getting noticeably better every time we take the ice,” Holmes said. “Red Wing should be a very big test for us. They have some very talented top end players.”
The puck drops at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon at Schmitz-Maki Arena.