Otters fall in finalPublished 11:13am Friday, March 2, 2012 Updated 11:13am Friday, March 2, 2012
The Fergus Falls Otters boys hockey team gave up too much in their Section 6A championship game against Little Falls on Thursday in St. Cloud’s Municipal Athletic Complex Arena.
The Otters yielded an early goal, with just 15 seconds into the game, off a solid strike from junior Ben Newman.
“It’s tough when it’s 15 seconds into the game and you’re down by one already,” said Fergus’ coach Mike Donaghue. “We ran a gamble and started a different line just to see what they were going to do with the matchups. They were able to jump on us and that was big.
“They were a tough team, and you’re not going to come back a lot against them.”
FF would go down 2-0 in the first period and give up four power play goals in the Flyers’ 6-1 victory. Little Falls will head to the Class A state tournament, while the Otters ended their season 14-12-1.
The Flyers, who advanced to their first state berth since 2009, won’t know their first-round foe until the weekend.
“We needed a goal in the first period to have anything happen,” said Donaghue. “We knew we had to play a perfect game going into the game.
With 24 shots in the game, Fergus had its chances. But the vast majority of shots were controlled by Flyer goalie Michael Stumpf, who was dominant in the crease.
“We were getting a lot of perimeter shots on Stumpf,” said Donaghue. “One of our keys was to crash the net, and our guys didn’t do that tonight.”
Little Falls got to 3-0 off a Joey Hanowski goal, assisted by Newman. Hanowski would finish with three assists.
The Otters got on the scoreboard off a power play goal of their own. Jake Ahlgren got one past Stumpf, with an assist from Adam Evenson.
FF had the last six penalties in the game, including a costly five-minute major boarding penalty by Aidan Colling midway through the third period. And a Flyer power play wasn’t good news for Otter goalkeeper Ian Bjorgum, who had 23 saves.
Despite playing with less than a full deck on several occasions, Bjorgrum played well, and kept the Otters in the contest, according to Donaghue.