Flyers bottle up Tiger boys’ hockey team, 6-3

MARSHALL – The Sioux Falls Flyers struck for three goals in both the first and third periods, while Brandon Appeldorn netted a hat trick in a 6-3 win over the Marshall boys’ hockey team on Tuesday. Appeldorn scored the third and sixth goals for the Flyers, as well as the eventual game-winner at the 11 minute, 43 second mark of the third period.

Following a turnover at the halfboard, Caleb Anderson fired a pass to the slot where Appeldorn was waiting to slip the puck between the pads of Marshall goaltender Adam Cavazos.

Sioux Falls opened the scoring in the game off another Marshall defensive zone turnover. Brandon Reiff picked the pocket of a Marshall defenseman before slinging a pass to Jack Hunter who beat Cavazos low and to the stick side at the 13:49 mark of the opening period.

The Flyers scored four of their six goals in the game off of Tiger turnovers.

“Being too fancy, just trying to be too fancy in our own zone and not reading what the other team’s giving us and adapting to that,” Marshall head coach Dave Coudert said of the costly giveaways. “We have tunnel vision going on out there sometimes and not seeing what’s being given to us.”

Anderson put the Flyers up 2-0 when Appeldorn’s shot deflected off the shaft of his stick and knuckled past Cavazos.

A minute later the Tigers got on the board when Corey Clark smashed home a rebound off a Casper Larsen shot at the 16:12 mark of the period.

Sioux Falls managed to pick up one more goal in the first period, however, as Appeldorn got his first of the game when his sharp angle shot took a strange bounce off of Cavazos’ glove and into the net.

The Tigers cut the lead down 3-2 4:38 into the second period when Quinn Horvath caught Sioux Falls goal Josh Jackson napping. Horvath’s snap shot from along the boards snuck into the upper corner of the goal with Jackson hardly flinching.

Marshall’s second goal prompted a barrage of odd-angle shots by the Tigers, who peppered Jackson with 38 shots. Sioux Falls, by comparison, tested Cavazos 26 times.

“Usually when you see something like that, you tell the boys to shoot from anywhere because anything can happen,” Coudert said. “It happened, we just put a lot to the chest still. When you’re seeing soft goals go in like that, we’re telling them to shoot and see what happens. The problem is we didn’t get to the net for the rebounds.”

Clark’s second goal, which tied the game at 3-3 after 6:18 in the third period, was a product of a sharp-angle attempt. After picking up the puck behind the Sioux Falls goal, Clark spun out of the corner and wristed a low, hard shot past Jackson on the short side.

Sioux Falls responded with the final three goals, including an empty-netter by Appeldorn with just over a minute remaining. The late collapse was uncharacteristic for the Tigers, who have played most of their best hockey late in games.

“Extremely disappointing. We are better than that,” Coudert said. “The stats show that the third period is usually our best period, but this was probably one of our worst third periods of the season.”

The Tigers (11-9-1 overall) will now look to avoid a three-game skid and build some positive momentum for sections in their final regular season game, a home tilt with St. Peter/Le Sueur-Henderson on Tuesday. For Coudert the key to entering the postseason with confidence is simple.

“Work hard,” Coudert said. “We know where our issues are, we’ve been talking about them for the past two weeks now. Our last three games have kind of shown the same thing. We have to keep working on it and try to get the guys to buy into the positions and the roles we want them to play.”