Girls hockey: Winning streak reaches 5Farmington carried over the momentum from its three-game sweep of the Louis Schmitz Holiday Classic with a pair of lopsided Missota Conference wins last week. The Tigers stayed a game ahead of Chaska/Chanhassen in the league standings by shutting out Holy Angels, 7-0, at home last Tuesday night and doubling up Northfield, 6-3, Thursday night at Northfield Ice Arena.
By: Matt Steichen, The Farmington Independent
Farmington carried over the momentum from its three-game sweep of the Louis Schmitz Holiday Classic with a pair of lopsided Missota Conference wins last week.
The Tigers stayed a game ahead of Chaska/Chanhassen in the league standings by shutting out Holy Angels, 7-0, at home last Tuesday night and doubling up Northfield, 6-3, Thursday night at Northfield Ice Arena.
The team has scored 26 goals in its last 14 periods since being shut out four straight periods against Rochester Mayo and Apple Valley in late December. Senior standout Krystal Baumann, a University of Vermont recruit, did the bulk of the damage Thursday night, scoring a career-high five goals to push her season total to 30 goals in 16 games.
Baumann scored the first two goals against Northfield to give the Tigers an early lead, then assisted on Molly Friedlund’s first goal of the season to make it 3-1 2:52 into the second.
The score stayed that way until Baumann’s unassisted power play goal 3:30 into the third. Just over 90 seconds later, she scored goal No. 4 on a pass from Hannah Alexander to make it 5-1.
Friedlund and Chloe Batta assisted on Baumann’s fifth goal with just under three minutes to go.
“She honestly played (Thursday) night like she plays every other night. She won races to the pucks, beat defenders, and shot hard,” Farmington coach Jon Holmes said. “I think the big difference lies in her shot selection she has had the past few games. She has been working hard at eyeing up the open twine rather than releasing the puck too quickly.”
Holmes suspects one Baumann shot, in particular, got Northfield goalie Sam Stark’s attention early in the first period.
“It did not hurt that she wound up and fired a blazing slapper from the top of the circles that rang off of Stark’s facemask early in the first period,” Holmes said. “Much like the old spinner from Bert Blyleven, this set Baumann up to use a variety of shots that made Northfield’s goalie think before reacting.”
Farmington’s goaltender, Jessica Erchul, had less trouble with the Northfield offense. She stopped 19 of 21 shots before back-up Ashley Corcoran replaced her between the pipes for the final 2:35.
Erchul picked up her third shutout of the season Tuesday night when she stopped all 11 Holy Angels shots in a 7-0 win.
The Stars, meanwhile, faced a barrage of 62 Farmington shots. Seven of them reached the net, including three from Baumann and two from Alexander. Batta and Betsy Anderson each added single goals.
Alexander and Rachael Peroutky each added two assists.
“It was nice to see us come out and being willing to compete at our level for the entire game,” Holmes said. “I am optimistic that we have learned from some experiences this past year, that we know we have to give it 100 percent every shift, every game. We did that for the most part all night.”
The Tigers had a chance to all but clinch their second straight conference championship Tuesday when Chaska/Chanhassen came to Schmitz-Maki Arena. A win would put them two games ahead with five conference games against New Prague, Red Wing, Shakopee, Holy Angels and Northfield left to play.