Eagles Fall Short Against the Tigers


Ashlyn Hird

The Eagles facing off after a break in the action.

The Apple Valley boys hockey team was hopeful going into their game last Thursday against the Farmington Tigers. Unfortunately, despite the Eagles’ two goal lead after the first period, the Tigers sealed their win with an empty net goal to make it 4-2.

Ashlyn Hird
The Eagles fighting for the puck against the boards.

Going into the game head coach, Chris Sikich said their focus is on the process and to control what they can control. That strategy worked well for the Eagles as senior Branden Penz scored a goal six minutes into the first period, assisted from Corey Zuelow and Nick Plagge. It was Penz’s fifth goal of the season.

Shortly after that, Chad Messerich scored in the 9th minute unassisted, his 2nd goal of the season.

However, Farmington came out strong in the second period and scored a goal two minutes into the period. The Tigers eventually tied it up before the second period ended.

Senior captain Chad Messerich tried to pump up his team before the third period,saying, “We are a good team–we just need to play like it.”

Despite a hard effort in the third, Farmington took the lead and the Eagles decided to pull their goalie with a few minutes left to give them a man advantage. Sadly, the Tigers finished the game with an empty net goal and a 4-2 win.

Ashlyn Hird
The Eagles chasing a loose puck in front of the Farmington goal.

The feelings at the end of the game were intense, since the Eagles were favored to win.

“We had a lot of shots and a lot of chances, we just didn’t finish at the net,” said junior Ryan Gale. “We moved the puck well and our passing was good.”

As for the next time the two teams meet, the Eagles are hoping to come home with a win. “The D-zone needs to clean up,” said junior Nick Plagge.

“Next time we need to move the puck better and play more as a team, less individual,” said junior Will Wright.

Coach Sikich wasn’t very pleased with the outcome of the game. “We had a good first period. In the second, we just got away from our game. They took advantage of the mistakes we made. We had some chances we just couldn’t finish.”

Ashlyn Hird
Junior Ryan Gale chasing after the puck.

The Eagles still have a lot of games left and are on a good track to end with a strong record. Their next game is away, Thursday the 22nd against Lakeville North at 7:00.