Faribault Boys Hockey Wins Game and Hearts
The Faribault Falcons boys hockey team defeated Winona 5-3 at the Faribault Ice Arena today. More impressively supporters of both teams raised thousands of dollars to assist a former Faribault hockey player dealing with the pain of a sick child.
Austin Bauer is a 2014 graduate of Faribault High School. He and Allie have a 3 month old son at Children's Hospital in St. Paul undergoing chemotherapy to reduce a tumor in his chest. Bowdenn is one tough customer. I was told the chemo appears to be working. The tumor is getting smaller and then doctors hope to remove it. Meanwhile the medical bills continue to escalate.
Some hockey parents organized a fundraiser for today and it was a resounding success. $4,200 were raised. $1,500 came from the Winona Sportsboosters. One of their leaders told me, "Hockey is a family. It doesn't matter the guy hurting is from a different team. He was a hockey player and we help each other."
Austin and Allie along with many family members came to the game and saw players from both teams form a human ribbon on the ice with the arena lights off and the players holding lights.
It sent goosebumps down my spine. The fundraiser included purchasing tickets for a old University of North Dakota hockey jersey that was signed by members of the team including four current NHL players. There were jars and cans to drop donations into at the front entrance table and the concession stand.
There was a sucker tree where people purchased suckers for a dollar. The sale of wristbands and t-shirts showing support for Bowdenn's fight for life.
In addition to the Bauer fundraiser it was senior day. Four senior players were recognized for their years in the program. They embraced having the Bauers share the spotlight. That won over a lot of hearts.
The game was a very entertaining contest. The Falcons were a bit sluggish in the scoreless first period. Winona outshot them 9-2.
Faribault scored the first goal of the game :33 into the second period when sophomore Grady Goodwin scored following assists by junior Lucas Linnaman and senior Noah Murphy.
It didn't take long for Winona to respond thanks in part to a major penalty assessed to the Falcons and another penalty giving the Winhawks the two man advantage.
At 2:37 and 3:14 Winona had two power play goals to take a 2-1 lead. 10:56 senior Leighton Weasler tied the game with an unassisted goal.
At 11:28 of second period sophomore Keaton Ginter scored with an assist by junior Jordan Nawrocki. 58 seconds later Weasler got his second goal with assists by Nawrocki and Murphy giving Faribault a 4-2 lead after two periods.
In the final period at 5:33 Ginter had his second goal with assists by Weasler and Nawrocki. Winona scored the final goal of the game 12:04 into the third period.
The Winhawks had 28 shots on goal. Falcons 27 shots. Six penalties were whistled on Faribault, four on Winona.
Senior Jake Dolter got the win with 25 saves.
The Falcons are now 13-6-2. Winona drops to 9-10-1.
Faribault is at Albert Lea Tuesday at 7:15 p.m.