Crusaders skate past Otters to 3-1 victory [UPDATED]Published 7:39am Monday, December 2, 2013 Updated 11:40am Monday, December 2, 2013
ST. CLOUD — Two scoreless periods kept the Fergus Falls Otters out of Friday’s game against the St. Cloud Cathderal Crusaders. The Otters fell 3-1 in its second game of the year.
“Cathedral came out with a lot of speed,” Otter head coach Mike Donaghue said following the loss. “It took us a while to catch up.”
The Crusaders put in its first goal four minutes into the first period when Trevor Cornelius shot the puck past Otter keeper Andrew MacFarlane. Cornelius found the back of the net during a power play and was assisted by Leo Lommel and Matt Fritz.
Otter Sam Rausch tied the game later in the first with an unassisted goal at the 15-minute mark.
But just 30 seconds later the Crusaders had the lead again when Dan Bailey scored a goal that was set up by Peter O’Neal and Will Hammer.
Fritz scored a quick goal at the very start of the second period, giving the Crusaders the 3-1 tilt that would hold until the end of the game.
Despite several chances, the Otters went scoreless in the second and third period as Cathedral’s defense fought for the victory.
“We had some good scoring opportunities, but couldn’t finish them,” Donaghue said.
Cathedral’s speed gave the Otter defense headaches all night. The Crusaders put 30 shots on goal, outshooting the Otters who only had eight on Cathedral’s net.
MacFarlane had another strong night in the net, stopping 27 shots that the Crusaders put on goal. Donaghue credited MacFarlane with keeping the Otters in the game and stopping Cathedral from building a blowout.
Fergus Falls also lost the penalty battle. The Otters sat out six minutes in the penalty box after three infractions. The Crusaders took advantage of one of those penalties and scored on the power play. Cathedral only had one penalty for two minutes.
The loss comes after a 2-1 victory in the Otter’s opening game against Detroit Lakes and evens its record to 1-1.
Despite the loss, coach Donaghue continued to see early season promise as the team is tested with four straight road games to open its 2013-14 schedule.
“We’ll regroup and come back again tomorrow night against Red Wing,” Donaghue said looking forward to the team’s Saturday afternoon match up against the Wingers.
The game between the Otters and Wingers was not completed before press time on Saturday.
For complete coverage of Saturday’s sports action, see Monday’s edition of the Journal.