Otters score OT playoff win: Nathe puts FF over Willmar 3-2Published 10:29am Wednesday, February 20, 2013
The Fergus Falls Otters can breathe a sigh of relief after a Joe Nathe tickled the twine in overtime to defeat the Willmar Cardinals 3-2 in the Section 6A playoffs Tuesday.
In the first period, the Cardinals were able to light the lamp first as Zech Steed flipped in a goal at 5:04 off an Evan VanDenEinde and Preston Peterson. The Otters fired back as Sam Rausch took a Colton Buseth pass and deposited in the back of the Willmar net.
In the second period, Fergus was able to take the lead midway through the period as Jesse Ketonen slapped in a Joe Nathe and Rausch pass. The Cardinals would not go away as Hunter Schneider snuck the puck into the Otter net unassisted to knot the game at two.
Neither team could find the back of the net in the final period in regulation. The Otters did have a chance to end it, but the referees disallowed a goal with a minute left to play, sending the game into overtime.
In the extra period, the Fergus was able to punch its ticket into the semi-finals as Nathe intercepted a pass, raced up the side of the rink and knocked in an unassisted goal.
“It was a good hard fought game, which is what we expected,” Otter coach Tom Donaghue. “We stuck to our game plan and did all we could to get the win.”
The overtime period was dominated by the home team as they were able to put four shots to zero on goal in the finale.
The Otters were able to put 35 shots on net, while Fergus Falls netminder Ian Bjorgum turned away 25 shots.
“Ian had a huge game in the net,” Donaghue added.
Coach Donaghue also celebrated his 109th win as the Fergus Falls boys hockey coach, becoming the winningest coach in the school’s history.
The Otters will now travel to St. Cloud to take on the Apollo Eagles Saturday at 7:30 p.m.