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Goalie, late 2nd period surge lift Hockey Ads

Maybe Dakota Christian stumbled onto a superstitious ritual prior to his Farragut High School hockey game Thursday night.

“I had a good game; I guess it's because I drank a root beer before the game,” said Christian, sophomore goalie who stopped 14 of 16 Whalers shots in an overall performance labeled “absolutely outstanding” by Admirals head coach Rob Despins.

“He stopped everything; they had some really good scoring opportunities,” added Despins about Christian, helping Farragut beat the Whalers 6-2 in Knoxville Amateur Hockey Association High School action at the Icearium Dec. 15.

“He was our star of the game.”

Farragut junior Gage Despins said Christian “made some awesome saves.”

The Admirals improve to 2-1-1 on the season, while the Whalers fall to 0-3-1.

Tied 2-2 late in the second period, Farragut went ahead for good on the first of two Thomas Detchemendy fast-break goals, this one after a nice poke-check by Gage negated a serious Whalers scoring challenge.

“That really was the turning point,” Gage said.

Detchemendy's second goal, the only score of period three, was a fast-break backhand shot that coach Despins called “beautiful,” adding it compared to NHL quality as a “Sid Crosby goal.”

Gavin Gauld, scoring two goals overall, and Gage added FHS goals in the final 39.8 seconds of the second period. Harrison Kinchler's nice diagonal pass found the open Gauld for the fifth goal.

Defensively, “Evan [Kinchler] is a workhorse out there on the penalty kill,” coach Despins said. “He really messes up [an] offense and stalls their attack.”

Lucas Despins' goal early in the second period, assisted by Gage, put Farragut up 2-1.

Other assists came from Evan Kinchler, Detchemendy and Lucas Despins.

With Farragut building its 5-2 lead after two periods, Gage said the team benefited from a lesson learned after blowing a 5-1 lead against the Whalers earlier this season (though FHS won 8-6).

“We went to the locker room and said, 'that's not happening again,’” Gage said. “We played good, physical hockey. We kinda shut their main players down in the third [period]. It was rolling after that.”

Coach Despins said his team failed to charge the net for rebound opportunities early in the game, but corrected that mistake.

“We finally got into the groove, sent guys to the net and they got the rebounds, they got the tap-ins,” he said.


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