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.
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After a bit of a slow start, the Farmington girls hockey team rolled through its competition at the Louis Schmitz Holiday Classic. The Tigers trailed 4-7 Apple Valley by a goal through the first 17 minutes of Tuesday's opener at Schmitz-Maki Arena. They rallied for a 2-1 victory over the Eagles before defeating Park of Cottage Grove 5-0 and Hastings 6-2 to capture the tournament title. The full story will appear in next week's print edition of the Independent.
Boys hockey Shakopee 1, Farmington 1 Boys basketball Eastview 73, Farmington 45 @ Hastings Holiday Tournament Louis Schmitz Holiday Classic @ Schmitz-Maki Arena Farmington 2, Apple Valley 1 Lakeville North 2, Sartell-Sauk Rapids 1 Hastings 2, Rosemount 1 Park Cottage Grove 5, Eastview 1
Rochester Mayo outscored Farmington 16-3 at the free-throw line -- including eight successful shots in the final minutes -- while closing out a 72-68 win over the Tigers in a battle between section rivals last Tuesday night at Tiger Gym. The Tigers (2-3) trailed 32-28 at the break, but rallied to take a brief lead early in the second half. The Spartans responded with a basket of their own and never lost the lead the rest of the way. Seniors Alex Michels and Josh Ruthenbeck each provided double-doubles for the hosts.
Farmington girls hockey coach Jon Holmes described last Tuesday's game in Rochester as "a head-scratcher." It's easy to see why considering his Tigers outshot host Rochester Mayo 53-14, but couldn't put the puck in the net in a 1-0 loss. "Fourteen was generous too. It was one of those games that if you have been around hockey long enough everyone has either played in or watched a team just not have any luck finding the twine," Holmes said. "We played well. Our defensive end did not even need to be resurfaced after each period.
Another high-scoring week sent the Farmington boys hockey team into the holiday break with a four-game winning streak. The Tigers wrapped up a 5-1 homestand with an 8-1 rout of Rochester Mayo last Tuesday at Schmitz-Maki Arena, then rang up a season-high 10 goals in a 10-2 blowout of Simley at Veteran's Memorial Community Center Thursday night in Inver Grove Heights. "Simley is a team that has taken some lumps over the past couple years. That being said, they are just the kind of team that has given us troubles the past couple seasons," Farmington coach Keith Revels said.
Farmington's girls basketball team used a familiar script to dispose of Rochester Mayo and move within a game of the school record for consecutive wins. The Tigers overcame a bit of a slow start with another dominant defensive effort, and extended their lead throughout the second half in an eventual 63-38 win -- their seventh in a row -- over Rochester Mayo last Tuesday night in Rochester. The Spartans trailed 25-16 at halftime, but crept back within 29-25 with 14:30 to go.
Boys hockey Farmington 8, Rochester Mayo 1 Girls hockey Rochester Mayo 1, Farmington 0 Boys basketball Rochester Mayo 72, Farmington 68 Girls basketball Farmington 63, Rochester Mayo 38
Carl Elmer continued a strong start to his senior season with a perfect 4-0 day en route to the 145-pound championship at the 24-team Redwood River Riot last weekend in Redwood Falls. The Tigers scored 58 points to finish 20th in the team standings. Elmer, now 10-1, advanced through the 145-pound bracket with three pins, then overcame a 2-0 deficit in the finals by forcing his opponent into three stalling penalties in a 3-2 victory. It was the 90th win of Elmer's prep career. "He could not keep up with Carl's pace," Farmington coach Chad Olson said.
A tougher non-league schedule is keeping Farmington's overall record in check, but the Tigers are still taking care of business in the Missota Conference. The defending conference champions improved to 4-0 in Missota play and sit alone in first place after rolling past Shakopee, 7-3, Thursday night at the Shakopee Community Center. "It was a penalty-filled game. I thought that we did a decent job staying out of the chippiness," Farmington head coach Jon Holmes said.
A five-goal third period vaulted Farmington to a 6-1 win over Shakopee in its Missota Conference boys hockey opener Friday night at Schmitz-Maki Arena. The Tigers took the lead for good 4:01 into the third period when Dan Handberg scored a power play goal with assists going to Andrew Peterson and Tyler Grubb. Just under three minutes later, a Zak Payne score made it 3-1. Peterson followed with a pair of goals -- a short-handed goal and an empty-netter -- to complete his first career hat trick.