Detroit Lakes hockey stops Otters
There was a collective gulp from the Detroit Lakes boys' hockey team when Fergus Falls forward Lucas Gervais shot through the Laker defense with 40 seconds left in a one-goal game and there wasn't anyone between him and goalie Andrew Friesen.
Luckily for the Friesen and the Lakers, defenseman Ethan Brekke came through and disrupted the puck so that Gervais couldn't get a shot off.
Brekke's timely play on defense preserved a 6-5 win over the Otters on Wednesday in the final game of the Holiday Classic tournament in Fergus Falls.
For a Detroit Lakes (3-6) team that hasn't many break go its way during the season, coach Chris Denardo was relieved that fate didn't go against his team at the end.
"We said we weren't getting bounces all week," Denardo said. "That one little bounce, we felt that the hockey gods weren't with us. We had to make our own way this weekend and that's what that (Brekke's stop) was."
Friesen's heart skipped a beat as well seeing the Otters' top scorer streaking past the blue line and looking for the goal to even the game.
"It was really scary," he said. "I don't know what I was thinking. He's one of their top players and coming in on a breakaway."
Friesen picked up 24 saves for the Lakers. Fergus Falls goaltending duties were split between Jason Lofquist, who picked up 10 saves, and Austin Carr, who had 16 saves in the loss.
Fergus Falls (3-4-1) was hunting for the late goal after making it a one-goal affair with just over three minutes left in the third when Derek Kinder put a goal in from the slot.
The Lakers failed to clear the puck and it bounced near Kinder for the clear chance.
What seemed to be an insurance goal for the Lakers just a minute earlier from Alex Phelps' stick, turned out to be the game winner.
It came during an Otter turnover in the Lakers end of the ice. Tanner Lane drove down the right wing, passed it across the mouth of the goal to Phelps, who one-timed it in to give Detroit Lakes a 6-4 lead.
Phelps' goal was the last in the Lakers' four straight goals that started in the second period.
"That was one of our best parts of the night," Denardo said. "We really moved the puck well, got into the zone, worked outside and got shots onto the net."
Three of those scores came during a four-minute span.
Those offensive flashes were what Denardo said comes from the Lakers' natural style of play.
"We rely on our speed our grit and determination," Denardo said. "You could see it tonight, they were not going to lose the game.
Before the rally, Fergus Falls seemed to be on its way to a win after going up 4-2 just a minute into to the second period when Logan Briese scored.
But Andy Schupp, Brekke and Davis Johnson put pucks in the back of the Otters' net.
Brekke's performance was worthy of a first-star award with two goals and the game-saving defensive play late.
Three of Fergus Falls' goals came during a point in the game most coaches hate to give up a score in -- the first or last minute of a period.
Gervais gave the Otters an early lead 16 seconds into the game with an unassisted goal.
Adam Heifort scored a power-play goal 20 seconds from the end of the first period and Briese scored a goal 41 seconds into the second period to give Fergus Falls a 4-2 lead.
Lane scored Detroit Lakes' first goal two minutes into the game to tie the affair at one.
The game counted towards Section 6A standings.
The rest of the tournament didn't go as well for the Lakers.
West Fargo topped Detroit Lakes on Monday, Dec. 29 3-2. The Packers scored the game-winner seven minutes into the third period when Jared Koehnen scored.
Detroit Lakes' Nathan Baker made the ending interesting when he scored with just over a minute left to cut the Packers' lead to one.
Tuesday's game against Mankato West was the toughest both offensively and defensively for the Lakers in taking a 6-1 loss.
Chris Widme was busy in net for Detroit Lakes as he stopped 37 Scarlets' shots.
Baker scored the Lakers' lone goal early in the third period. He scored three goals over the tournament.
The Lakers are at home at Kent Freeman Arena next Thursday, Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. versus Wadena-Deer Creek in a Mid-State Conference game.
Holiday Classic Tournament
Detroit Lakes at Fergus Falls, Wednesday, Dec. 31.
Lakers 2 3 1 - 6
Otters 3 1 1 - 5
First period - 1. FF, Lucas Gervais :16. 2. DL, Tanner Lane (Bryant Swenson) 2:10. 3. FF, Jared Swiontek SH (Logan Briese) 5:30. 4. DL, Ethan Brekke PP (Lane, Davis Johnson) 10:30. 5. FF, Adam Heifort PP (Lucas Gervais, Derek Kinder) 16:40.
Second period - 6. FF, Briese (Kinder) :41. 7. DL, Andy Schupp PP (Lane, Johnson) 4:57. 8. DL, Brekke 6:02. 9. DL, Johnson (Joe Hanson) 8:57.
Third period - 10. DL, Alex Phelps (Lane, Schupp) 12:40. 11. FF, Kinder (Gervais, Heifort) 13:50.
Saves - DL (Andrew Friesen - win) 24...FF (Jason Lofquist) 10...(Austin Carr - loss) 16.
Detroit Lakes vs. Mankato West at Fergus Falls, Tuesday, Dec. 30.
Lakers 0 0 1 - 1
Scarlets 1 2 3 - 6
First period - 1. MW, Blake Jensen (Brock Lloyd, Drew Weber) 16:04
Second period - 2. MW, Andrew Bruggeman (Jace Leiferman) 3:17. 3. MW, Leiferman PP (Matt Campbell, Lloyd) 14:06
Third period - 4. DL, Nathan Baker PP (Travis Maristuen, Alex Phelps) 2:29. 5. MW, Bruggeman (Josh Christenson) 5:49. 6. MW, Nate Olsen (Campbell) 12:31. 7. MW, Bruggeman PP (Campbell, Weber) 14:22.
Saves - DL (Chris Widme - loss) 37...MW (Jake Kaufman - win) 26.
Detroit Lakes vs. West Fargo at Fergus Falls, Monday, Dec. 29.
Lakers 0 1 1 - 2
Packers 1 1 1 - 3
First period - 1. WF, Jordan Olstad, 7:28.
Second period - 2. DL, Baker (Chad Maristuen) 4:49. 3. WF, Dusty Jonasson PP,14:25.
Third period - 4. WF, Jared Koehnen PP (Kyle Shoman, Jeremy Johnson) 7:52. 5. DL, Baker PP (Lane, Brandon Yozamp) 15:45.
Saves - DL (Friesen - loss) 29...WF (Cole Petersonn - win) 30.