KASSON — The Faribault High School boys hockey team lost 10 seniors from last year’s squad. But on Saturday against Dodge County, the Falcons’ sophomore class showed it can fill the void.
Sophomores Cody Colegrove and Connor Wierschem gave FHS a 2-0 lead within the game’s first three minutes, and sophomore Daniel Pierce’s third-period goal sealed a 5-3 victory for Faribault at the Kasson Ice Arena.
“I think one of the first things that stood out is how prepared we were, and they came out and had a dynamite first period,” coach Brad Ryan said. “For a team that lost so many letter winners last year, to have so many new bantams move and show a good first period like that is awesome.”
Colegrove laid claim to the Falcons’ first goal of the season, beating Wildcats goalie Dustin Stevens just 1:13 into the game. Not long after FHS took a 1-0 lead, Wierschem found the net for a 2-0 Falcons edge 2:52 into the season.
“We worked hard and we put a lot of pressure on them,” Colegrove said. “We got a lot of shots on net.”
Faribault would score two more times in the opening frame on goals by a pair of seniors. Colbey Hullett and Jack Helgeson both recorded their first goals of the year to send FHS into the locker room with a 4-1 lead after one.
From there, Dodge County senior forward Nicolas Enerson threatened to make a game of it. Enerson twice beat Faribault goalie Jarrad Bruessel in the second period to cut the Falcons lead to 4-3 after two. The first of his two goals came on the power play just 1:24 into the period.
“I don’t think there was so much of a letdown,” Ryan said. “Like anything, there’s some teachable moments out there. We had a couple of penalties that allowed the other team to get in it.”
“We’ve got to stay out of the box a little bit more,” said Colegrove.
Hanging onto a one-goal lead, Pierce gave the Falcons some breathing room as his slap shot from above the left circle beat Stevens for what proved to be the game’s final goal. Colegrove recorded the lone assist for his second point of the night.
It was the third goal of the game from an FHS sophomore, perhaps providing a glimpse of what the Falcons can expect this season.
“We’ll get a lot better,” Colegrove said of the young team. “We still have a lot to learn.”
Next up for the Falcons is another road contest, when FHS travels to take on Providence Ice Academy on Thursday.