ROCHESTER/OWATONNA — The No. 8 ranked Class A Fergus Falls boys’ hockey team had a busy weekend highlighted by two big road wins over Rochester Century on Friday, 6-2 and a follow-up game Saturday against Owatonna, 3-0.
In the first game against the Panthers, the Otters would find themselves down, 2-0 after the first period only to answer back in the second with four straight goals to take the lead 4-2. In the final period the Otters would increase their lead with two more goals to end the matchup 6-2. Scoring leaders for the Otters were Cole Zierden, Isaac Johnson and Carter Thielke, all with two goals apiece respectively while goalie Ben Swanson recorded 22 saves in the net.
“Cole Zierden scored early to make it 2-1 and Isaac Johnson tied it five minutes later. Carter (Thielke) scored on the PP to put us up 3-2. Century was creating a lot of pressure and we weathered the storm and Isaac (Johnson) finished the scoring in the second with 13 seconds left to give us a two-goal lead at the intermission. That was a big goal,” said Otters head coach Mike Donaghue. “Carter (Thielke) scored his second goal on a beautiful passing play from Michael (DeBrito) and Isaac (Johnson) where they found Carter in the high slot and he was able to finish the play. Cole Zierden scored his second of the night on a breakaway after a great block shot from Michael (DeBrito) and he was able to poke the puck off the defenseman’s stick and beat the goalie with a deke.”
In Saturday’s follow-up game the Otters continued to build on the prior day’s success with some strong defense, only allowing 13 shots on goal but the Huskies’ goalie, Preston Meyer was also a tough defender stopping 29 of 30 shots.
After a scoreless first period the Otters would notch one goal in the second period to take a 1-0 lead before lighting the lamp two more times in the final period on empty-netters for the 3-0 shutout finish. Scoring leaders for the Otters were Johnson with two goals and Zierden with one while Swanson stopped all 13 shots on goal to end the game with his second shutout of the season.
“Isaac Johnson provided the offense for us by scoring our first goal in the second with a tremendous shot (to the) short side. He also scored the first empty-net goal after a great effort by DeBrito to get the puck out,” said coach Donaghue. “Cole Zierden scored the second empty-net goal as he picked up a loose puck on a (Landon) Thacker clearing effort.”
With the victory the Otters improve to 7-1 on the season and will now head to Richmond Arena on Tuesday to face off against Rocori-River Lakes at 7:15 p.m.