Boys Hockey: Farmington throttles Red Wing
John Siebenaler’s hat trick was the highlight of an offense that buried Red Wing Tuesday night at Prairie Island Arena. The Farmington sophomore scored once in each period as the Tigers piled on with a five-goal second period to beat the Wingers, 9-1.
“They’re a pretty quick team, they’re very highly-skilled and they returned 10 of their top 12 scorers,” said Red Wing head coach Bob Rajanen. “That’s one of the better Farmington teams I’ve seen in a long time.”
The Tigers kept the Wingers in the defensive zone for long stretches of the first period, building a 2-0 lead in the process. When Red Wing did clear the zone, offense was second to line changes as the five Wingers usually had to get off the ice.
And that time spent playing board-to-board defense, for a minute or two at a time, sapped some energy as the Tigers scored twice in the first four minutes of the second period.
“When you have trouble getting out of your own end, it’s very tough to be able to get changes,” Rajanen said. “But I give credit to them. They came ready to play and they’re very skilled.”
Red Wing mustered just three shots in the opening frame, and just eight combined through the first two periods. Farmington, on the other hand, accumulated 32 shots in the first two periods, including a gaudy 20 in the second.
Junior goaltender Adam Defore made several highlight-reel saves, including stopping two odd-man rushes in the first period, as well as a kick save off a deflection in the second. But Defore could only do so much as the Tigers slapped shots into his leg pads, and then hacked away at the rebounds that were inevitably there.
“Adam did a very good job tonight. You look at the goals that he gave up, he wasn’t really getting beat clean,” Rajanen said. “There was a rebound here and a rebound there. And there were a couple of times where there were two, three shots and we weren’t clearing out in front of the net.”
Fritz Belisle got the Wingers on the board 7 minutes, 50 seconds into the second period when he picked the pocket of a Tiger defenseman, and immediately sniped the net over the should of the Farmington goalie.
But the Tigers responded 1:40 later when Jake Tripple beat Defore on a breakaway, pushing the lead back to five goals.
“We got caught trying to be a little bit too aggressive … plus we also had a couple of turnovers that gave them a two-on-one and a breakaway as well,” Rajanen said.
The defensive issues are one thing that Rajanen is focusing on, as well as figuring out a way to increase scoring opportunities. The Wingers (0-3) next shot for their first win will be Thursday when North St. Paul (1-1) comes to town.
“We just have to keep on plugging away,” Rajanen said. “The players that we have are the ones that we’re going to be playing. Maybe we’ve got to look at trying to find the right combinations.”