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Boys Hockey: Red Wing climbs back to tie Farmington

Red Wing senior goaltender Preston Blaney makes a save in the third period of Friday's Missota Conference game against Farmington at Prairie Island Arena.

Red Wing has faced plenty of adversity in the wake of an 0-9 start. So instead of dwelling on a 2-0 hole early in the second period against Farmington, the Wingers decided to fight through it.

"We're used to that adversity," said Red Wing head boys hockey coach Mike Belisle. "But our kids were pumped up and they played three full periods and we came back a couple times."

Trailing 3-2 in the third period, the Wingers clawed back to tie the game, leading to a 3-3 tie at Prairie Island Arena Friday in the Missota Conference opener.

With Farmington leading 3-2 with 4 minutes, 57 seconds left, junior forward Nick Sammon found open net behind Tigers goaltender Austin Krause to tie the game later in regulation.

"Tristan (Rehder) and I were coming down ice, and I backed down towards the net," Sammon said. "He got the puck across and I was able to chip it in."

From looking at another loss to getting a chance late against Farmington, the bench perked up, helping Red Wing for a final push.

"We're starting to see the growth," Belisle said. "We had a solid December, and it wears on you a little bit. But with that, our players are able to elevate their play and you saw that come out tonight."

The Tigers grasped the early momentum when with 22.7 seconds left in the first period, Tanner Grubb popped in the first goal of the game on a pass from Kevin Olund. Early in the second, Grant Hauswirth stole the puck in neutral ice and deked out Wingers goalie Preston Blaney on a 1-on-1 for a 2-0 Farmington advantage.

But just over a minute later, Rehder scooped up a rebound and launched the puck into a wide-open net to bring some momentum back to Red Wing.

The Wingers' Tyler Rea tied the game at 2-2 early in the third, punching in a goal as he was stumbling to the ice.

"It's very encouraging," Belisle said of the comeback. "It shows that our tough December is paying off. ... We had a few chances at the end to put a few pucks in."

Dallas Tucker put in a goal for Farmington (4-5-1, 0-1-1 Missota) with 10:10 left before Sammon tied it over five minutes later.

Farmington outshot Red Wing 4-2 in the extra period, but neither team was able to convert in the final eight minutes.

It wasn't a win for the Wingers, but it was a step in the right direction as the team heads into the new year.

"It helps a lot," Sammon said. "We stepped up and hopefully, something like this can help push us."

Red Wing (0-9-1, 0-0-1 Missota) resumes conference play Jan. 3 at home against Northfield.

Joe Brown

Joe Brown is the sports editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he worked at the Marshall Independent and the St. Cloud Times. For updates on local sports, follow Joe on Twitter at @RE_JBrown.

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