FAIRMONT - The Fairmont Area boys hockey team struggled and only had eight shots on net during their loss to Marshall on Saturday.
Seventy eight hours later, not only did the hometown Cardinals manage to fire 40 shots on goal, they lit the lamp five times to top the Redwood Valley Cardinals on Tuesday at Martin County Arena in Fairmont.
"I am not sure what the difference was tonight. We didn't have practice (Monday) or anything, but things seemed to be clicking much better in the game today," said Fairmont Area head coach Brady Meyer.
ICY RUSH — Fairmont Area’s Josh Wills (17) finds a seam as he rushes toward Redwood Valley’s Jay Ortman (15) with Fairmont Area teammate Ethan Lubenow on the wing during nonconference hockey action Tuesday night at Martin County Arena in Fairmont. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
It didn't take long for the hometown Cardinals to find the scoreboard.
Senior Brock Johnson was able to fire a shot off a rebound through the crease seven minutes and 39 seconds into the game.
"On Saturday, we weren't getting enough scoring chances, our players kept looking to make that next move instead of just getting a shot on net," said Meyer. "Tonight they were taking shots and that makes a difference offensively."
Ethan Lubenow, who leads the team with six goals on the season, was able to fire a pass through the crease for the score.
Lubenow caught a Greg Claeys pass, for the first of his two assists on the night, and fired it just past the Redwood Valley goaltender Tyler Domeier with 4:29 left in the first.
Redwood Valley then cut the lead in half with just over two minutes left in the frame.
Junior Lane Stadther caught a pass from linemate Jacob Prouty and carried the puck into the Fairmont Area zone.
Stadther drove the net and fired a wrister just over hometown Cardinal netminder Colton Cunning's shoulder for the top shelf score.
Fourty two seconds later, the Fairmont Area Cardinals responded to retake a two-goal lead.
Rodney Engstrom sent a blast from the point toward the Redwood Valley goal, and forward Sam Havnen tipped the shot at the last second into the net to go ahead 3-1.
"I thought that we did a good job of controlling the puck in tonight's game," said Meyer. "We were able to set up in their zone and dictate the tempo of the game, which was great."
Early in the second period, senior Trason Arens found the net again for the home Cardinals.
Lubenow fired a shot on net, which Domeier stopped for one of his 35 saves, but Arens was there for the rebound and fired it into the net for the tally.
The Fairmont Area defense then battled to kill off a pair of Redwood Valley power plays in the second period, holding the visiting Cardinals to just one goal.
"Defensively, we did a good job of getting the puck out and keeping them out of zone," said Meyer. "I was also really happy with the way that we killed the penalties, and didn't let them get many chances."
In the third period, Josh Wills was able to capitalize on another Fairmont Area scoring chance as he gave the hometown Cardinals a 5-1 lead.
With just under 2:30 left to play, Wills fired a shot from the left side and was able to sneak the puck in over the shoulder of Domeier for his first goal of the season.
"Tonight, Josh Wills played so hard the whole game," said Meyer. "It wasn't just the first or the third period, but the whole game he worked his butt off. The team noticed that and we were all so excited for him when he scored his goal."
Fairmont Area (3-11, 0-3 SCC) plays host to the Sioux Falls Flyers in a nonconference game on Thursday in Fairmont.
Redwood Valley (2-10) plays host to Fairmont Area in another nonconference game at 1 p.m. on Saturday in Redwood Falls.
Redwood Valley 1-0-0-1
Fairmont Area 3-1-1-5
FA - Brock Johnson (unassisted), 9:21.
FA - Ethan Lubenow (Greg Claeys), 4:29.
RV - Lane Stadther (Jacob Prouty), 2:12.
FA - Sam Havnen (Rodney Engstrom), 1:30.
FA - Trason Arens (Ethan Lubenow), 11:58.
FA - Josh Wills (unassisted), 2:27.
Shots on goal: Fairmont Area 21-11-8-40; Redwood Valley 5-6-12-23.
Saves: Tyler Domeier (RV) 18-10-7-35; Colton Cunning (FA) 4-6-12-22.
Penalties: Redwood Valley 4 for 8 minutes; Fairmont Area 5 for 10.
Waseca 4, Fairmont Area 1 - The Bluejays continued their South Central Conference success by downing the Cardinals 4-1 on Tuesday night in Waseca.
Jalyssa Wilson, who leads the team with 36 points this season, scored the Cardinals' lone goal in the second period to cut the Bluejays lead in half.
The Bluejays jumped out to 1-0 lead after Olivia McIntosh fired a Maddy Knoll assist into the net just over five minutes into the game.
Anna Hoehn then combined with McIntosh and Knoll in the second to stake a 2-0 advantage for the Bluejays.
Wilson later responded with a power-play goal with the help of Taylor Nuss with 4:01 left in the second. Nuss tallied her 15th assist of the season, while Wilson netted her 16th goal of the campaign.
McIntosh and Hoehn had an answer for the Bluejays with 1:27 left in the frame to go ahead 3-1.
Knoll then tallied her third point of the night, and first goal in the third to ice the Bluejays conference victory.
Fairmont Area (9-10, 1-4 SCC) plays host to Waseca in a conference makeup game at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Martin County Arena.
Waseca (6-8-1, 2-1 SCC) faces St. Peter/Le Sueur-Henderson at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Le Sueur.
Fairmont Area 0-1-0-1
W - Olivia McIntosh (Maddy Knoll), 11:54.
W - Anna Hoehn (Maddy Knoll, Olivia McIntosh).
FA - Jalyssa Wilson (Taylor Nuss), pp, 12:59.
W - Olivia McIntosh (Anna Hoehn), 15:23.
W - Maddy Knoll (unassisted).
Shots on goal: Fairmont Area 23-14-5-42; Waseca 8-7-6-21.
Saves: Maddie Helms (W) 8-6-6-20; Sadie Sandersfeld (FA) 7-5-0 - 12; Emily O'Connor (FA) 0-0-5-5.