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A Farmington goalie's act of defiance goes viral

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Farmington goaltender Austin Krause wanted to celebrate Senior Night his own way, and it's landed him a 10-day suspension.

Krause purposely scored a goal into his own net, then raised his middle finger in the direction of the coaching staff and gave a salute before leaving the ice in the third period of a Feb. 12 hockey game at Schmitz-Maki Arena.

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The Farmington school district responded to the incident with a statement on its website Wednesday afternoon.

"This action has had a immediate and dramatic impact on the Farmington boys hockey team and the entire Farmington community. The district is taking the proper steps to investigate the incident and will take appropriate action in line with school policy. Student privacy regulations prevent any further release of information regarding this matter.

"Our focus is on in supporting the players and coaches in our hockey program and the successful completion of their season."

Krause's goal, scored with 3:13 remaining in the third period, tied the game 2-2. Chaska scored again about a minute later against the Tigers' third-string goalie and went on to win 3-2.

Krause posted on Facebook after the game that he had had a running dispute with head coach Keith Revels and other members of the Farmington coaching staff over playing time, and had talked with his teammates about his plan to score an own-goal before the game.

On his Facebook page, Krause wrote:

"They played this sophomore goalie for the starter, he was terrible, I would try and talk to the coaches about this and tell them I want playing time but they never really listen to me or gave me a chance to show them that I'm a better goalie but still wouldn't trust me so I had it it with I asked a few of my players if they care if I did it and they didn't care they thought it would be funny so at the third period they dumped it in I stopped it put in my net started to skate off then flicked the coaches not the team the coaches then I saluted them then got off."

He added: "My hockey season is over. I did it for myself. (Like my status) if you think the coaches should quit:)"

The incident was caught on video by FHS student Alex Kelly, a friend of Krause, who Krause told to "have (his) camera ready" according to Kelly's mother, Jodi. The original video got over 20,000 hits on YouTube by Wednesday morning before Kelly complied with a school administrator's request to take it down. However, new versions of the video were soon picked up by Yahoo, USA Today and Deadspin.

There has been plenty of behind-the-scenes disagreement surrounding the season for the Tigers, who have a 12-12-1 record going into this week's Section 1AA tournament. Speaking to the Independent, one parent who asked that he not be named claimed that several junior and senior players have been demoted to playing junior varsity half-time, while a group of four freshmen have been given special treatment and seen lots of varsity time.

"Four ninth-graders coming up and playing varsity is unprecedented.... Go around the metro and I don't think you'll see that," the parent said. "Krause has been the goalie for the 'A' team all through youth hockey and put in so many hours and been a great goalie and never caused any trouble. He got the shaft and got it taken away from him.

"It's nothing against the younger kids, it's not their decision. They're good players, but they're not any better than the juniors and seniors they're replacing."

Parents also speculated that the coaching staff's motivation is preparing the program for its debut in the South Suburban Conference in 2014-15.

"Parents have talked to the coaches and they said they don't make decisions based on the individual, but based on the entire team. I said that I thought they were making decisions based on the 2014 team and they didn't agree with that," the parent said.

Another parent, who also wished to remain anonymous, disagreed and said the younger players had earned the varsity playing time, and give the team the best chance to win.

"The coaching staff can't look that far into the future, otherwise they won't have a job. They have to play to win today.... The younger players are clearly qualified players and they've earned their playing time based on how they've done in tryouts and in games. The young players' presence has a lot to do with the team having the record that it does," he said. "(Coach Revels) has unequivocally not been unfair. I recognize there's going to be resentment when kids move up a level, but it's a reality of varsity sports."

Another parent agreed, saying, "It's a life lesson that your kids need to learn. What Austin did was all for himself and not his team. He didn't hurt the coaches, he hurt the players he grew up playing hockey with who were out there battling for 46 minutes to win a hockey game and he flushed in down the toilet with one selfish act."

Krause played 492 minutes in goal this season and had a record of 5-4-1 as the starter. His goals-against average was 2.8 and he stopped 87.7 percent of opponents' shots. Sophomore Gage Overby has logged about 548 minutes while earning a 5-5 record, a 2.42 goals-against average and a 90.1 save percentage. Nick Schoening has played 203 minutes in goal and has a 2.76 goals-against average and a 1-3 record.

Overby is 5-1 for the Tiger JV team and Schoening is 9-0.

Overby and Krause posted the Tigers' first back-to-back shutouts in seven years Jan. 11 and 15 in conference games against Chaska and Shakopee, respectively. Since then, Overby had started four games and allowed nine goals and Krause had started three games and allowed 10 -- including his own.

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Matt Steichen
Matt Steichen has been the sports editor at the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. He has previously been a sports writer at the Sioux City Journal and Le Mars Daily Sentinel and the sports editor at the Austin Daily Herald.
(651) 460-6606
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