PLYMOUTH — Faribault High School boys hockey coach Brad Ryan knew heading into Thursday’s matchup with Providence Academy that the Lions were a fundamentally-sound defensive team.
Unfortunately for the Falcons, the Lions proved it. Sophomore Ryan Tapani scored two goals and added two assists for Providence Academy in a 6-0 shutout of FHS at Plymouth Ice Center.
“They did a pretty good job,” Ryan said. “They were storming defensively; they got the puck out of the zone pretty quickly. Providence did a nice job of preventing us from sustaining pressure.”
The Falcons (1-1) were coming off a win against Dodge County in which they scored five goals — four coming in the first period.
They had no such luck on Thursday, as the Lions (2-1) out-shot FHS by a 28-13 margin and kept most of the action down in the Falcons’ zone.
PA scored 2:04 into the first period when Mitchell Roux took a pass from Tapani and Marshall Klitzke and beat goalie Jarrad Bruessel. Tapani made it 2-0 with 10 seconds remaining in the first. He added his second goal of the game with 46 seconds left in the second period.
For his second goal, Ryan said Tapani took the puck on a breakaway, pushed the puck off his foot back to his stick and scored top shelf over Bruessel.
Ryan said it was one of the most beautiful goals he’s seen in 15 years.
“Sometimes you’ve got to appreciate the hard work,” Ryan said.
The Lions held the Falcons to an 0-for-5 mark on the power play during the game. Meanwhile, Providence Academy went 1-for-4 on the man-advantage, the lone score coming from Marshall Tema at 12:04 of the third period. That score made the game 5-0.
Bruessel turned away 14 of the 18 shots he faced in the first two periods. Netminder Cody Morsching played the third period and turned away eight of the 10 shots he faced.
The Falcons’ next game is against Northfield at Faribault Ice Arena. It is the Falcons’ first home game of the season.