Class 1A State Hockey: Lamb’s hat trick stops Little Falls’ run in state semis
Little Falls takes on Dodge County in state semifinals.
Although Brody Lamb couldn’t quite top his six-goal performance in the quarterfinals, he came close.
The Dodge County star scored a hat trick against fourth-seeded Little Falls in the Wildcats 4-1 win in the Class 1A state semifinals Friday, April 2, at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Lamb also assisted on a goal to have his fingerprints all over Dodge County getting to the state championship game Saturday where it will face second-seeded Gentry Academy.
With the game tied 1-1, Lamb got his first goal on the power play with seven minutes left in the second period to give the Wildcats their first lead.
The power-play goal came right off a faceoff win and Lamb went top shelf to beat Flyers’ goaltender Dane Couture.
Earlier in the period, Lamb assisted on Charlie Blaisdell’s goal that tied it 1-1.
In the third period, Lamb got his second goal with five minutes left. The goal came with some doubt as the referees looked to see if Gavin Giesler, who assisted on the goal, was offside while entering the offensive zone. The goal stood and Dodge County extended its lead 3-1.
Lamb then completed the hat trick with 1:06 left on an empty net to give him hat tricks in back-to-back state tournament games and nine state tournament goals total.
“He’s a darn good player,” Flyers head coach Tony Couture said. “We didn’t want to go after him with big body checks, but he just got to us a little bit in the second half of the game.”
The Flyers thought they had the equalizing goal in the third period when the score was still 2-1.
After a shot, the puck was loose and put in the net by the Flyers, but an early whistle by the referee blew the play dead.
“I just think the ref didn’t see the puck,” Tony Couture said. “But if we would’ve found the back of the net with our 30-some shots we would not have to worry about some of the disappointment that we had.”
It wasn’t the only time the Flyers thought they had a goal as halfway through the first period Gabe Hirsch put the puck in the net after a scrum in the crease.
The goal however was reviewed and waved off by the referees for goaltender interference.
“In a normal game, that’s usually a goal,” Tony Couture said. “It was a good call though, we moved the goalie and the puck came out. It’s just disappointing how it started.”
With 20 seconds left in the first, George Moore scored for the third straight game to give Little Falls a 1-0 lead headed into intermission.
The Flyers outshot Dodge County 12-8 in the opening period and outshot the Wildcats 34-23 total.
“I thought we finally came together. It was just a matter of not scoring,” Tony Couture said. “I thought our puck possession and net presence were good. We just could not find the back of the net. I thought their goalie played very well, too.”
It was Isaac Dale who outshined Dane Couture in net as the Wildcats goaltender notched 33 saves to Dane Couture’s 19.
The game also marked Tony Couture’s last game on the sidelines as Flyers coach after 28 years and seven state tournaments. His last season ends 14-5-1.
“Obviously, it wasn’t the outcome we wanted,” Tony Couture said. “I thought our kids worked extremely hard and possessed the puck a lot more than they did. We just couldn’t find the back of the net.”
Tony Couture added after the game that it hadn’t set in, that was his final game because he had a lot of laundry to do.
“I’m proud to be a Flyer and proud to coach here for 28 years,” he said. “It was a good run.”
Dodge County 0 2 2 — 4
Little Falls 1 0 0 — 1
First period: LF-George Moore (Matt Filippi, Nicholas Stevens) 16:40
Second period: DC-Charlie Blaisdell (Brody Lamb, Gavin Giesler) 6:10, DC-Brody Lamb (Matt Donovan) PPG 10:01
Third period: DC-Brody Lamb (Gavin Giesler) 12:04, DC-Brody Lamb ENG 15:54
Shots on goal: LF 12-15-7 34, DC 8-11-4 23
Goalies: LF-Dane Couture (19 saves); DC-Isaac Dale (33 saves)
Dodge County 4, Little Falls 1
Key: Brody Lamb’s hat trick gets Wildcats to state finals.
Overall: LF 14-5-1, DC 19-3-1.
CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.