Posted by: Feldman
I'm a little late today with this, but games haven't actually started yet, so I guess that still makes me early, right? I spent most of the morning attempting to not tick off the bats in the caves at Quarry Hill, with young daughter Feldman's 2nd grade class.
Let's get to the games, lots of 'em around the state tonight.
RED WING at ROCHESTER CENTURY
7:30 p.m., Graham 4
Records: Red Wing 0-1-0 Big Nine, 0-1-0 overall; Century 1-0-0 overall, 0-0-0 Big Nine Conference
Coaches: RW, Bob Rajanen (2nd season, 4-24-0); Century, Josh Klingfus (4th season, 38-38-4 overall)
Players to watch: Century Fr. goalie Cole Walter played like a varsity old-timer on Saturday, earning a 19-save shutout in his first varsity start, a 7-0 win at Dodge County. Klingfus said he'll ride the hot hand in goal. It's just one game, but right now, that's Walter. ... Century Sr. F Sam Batterson had a goal and an assist against Dodge County. He had 12 points last season, but is one of the seniors who Klingfus is looking at to be a bigger part in the Panthers' offense. ... The Wingers will likely go as Sr. G Adam Defore goes. He played nearly every minute in goal for Red Wing last season and is off to a good start this year. He stopped 35 of 38 shots he faced in the Wingers' season-opening 3-2 OT loss to Faribault.
Notes: Red Wing is in a tough stretch of schedule. It faces Century, plays host to Duluth Denfeld on Saturday, then faces defending Section 1A champ New Prague on Tuesday. ... The Wingers held a 2-1 lead late into the third period in their loss to Faribault, but gave up a goal with 43 seconds to go in the third period, then lost in OT. ... Century received at least one point from nine different players in its win at Dodge County on Saturday. ... Three Panthers -- soph. D Will Zmolek (2 goals), senior F Nick Pearson and senior F Eric St. Marie -- all scored their first varsity goal against Dodge County.
OWATONNA at ROCHESTER MAYO
7:30 p.m., Graham 1
Records: Owatonna 0-0-0 (15-10-2 last season); Mayo 1-0-0 overall, 1-0-0 Big Nine Conference
Coaches: Owatonna, Josh Storm (4th season, 42-31-6); Mayo, Lorne Grosso (48th season; 678-426-27 overall)
Players to watch: Mayo Soph. F Anthony Oliveto had 24 points last season as a freshman. He's off to a strong start this year, with a goal and an assist in the Spartans' season-opening win against Northfield. ... Owatonna junior F Noah Scheid is the Huskies' top returning scorer. He had 9-19--28 last season.
Notes: Owatonna has two 20-point scorers back this season, Scheid and junior F Alec Holcomb (11-9--20). ... The Huskies also have their top goalie back. Senior Greg Somers played a majority of the games last season. He was 11-5-1, with a 2.89 goals-against average and a .894 save pct. ... Owatonna was 2-1-0 against Mayo last season, splitting two regular-season matchups, then winning at Mayo in a Section 1AA quarterfinal. ... Spartans senior G Chris Wileman started his varsity career on a high note, recording a 24-save shutout against Northfield last Thursday.
MANKATO EAST at ROCHESTER JM
7:30 p.m., Rec Center
Records: East 1-0-0 overall, 1-0-0 Big Nine Conference; JM 0-2-0 overall, 0-0-0 Big Nine.
Coaches: East, Adam Fries (2nd season, 8-18-0); JM, Jay Ness (4th season, 34-42-4)
Players to watch: East senior F Grayson Gavin had a hand in three of the Cougars' four goals in their 4-2 season-opening win against Albert Lea last Thursday. ... JM junior G Brady Meyers has been very good through his first two games as a varsity starter. He has 87 of 95 shots he's faced (a .918 save pct.).
Notes: JM needs to cut down on its penalties from last time out. The Rockets took nine penalties, including the final five of the game, in a 3-2 OT loss against Bloomington Kennedy. ... JM did convert on its lone power play of the game, as Brady Dahl scored with assists by Josh Frerks and Cory Checco. ... East's Judd Schulz (2 assists), Brandon Adams (1 goal, 1 assist) and Gavin (2 goals, 1 assist) all had multi-point games in its season-opening win vs. Albert Lea. ... East is an improving program. It has won a total of 17 games over the past two seasons after winning just six in the two previous seasons combined.
AUSTIN at FARIBAULT
7 p.m., Faribault Ice Arena
Records: Faribualt 1-0-0 overall, 1-0-0 Big Nine Conference; Austin 0-2-0 overall, 0-1-0 Big Nine.
Coaches: Faribault, Dean Weasler (3rd season, 24-27-2); Austin, Erik LaRock (3rd season, 11-40-2)
Notes: Five players have a point each for Austin through two games. ... Austin G Jacob Johnson has played both of the Packers's games so far, stopping 48 of the 55 shots he's faced. ... The Packers lost their opener at LeSueur-Henderson/St. Peter, 4-1, then fell to Winona 3-2 on Saturday. ... Faribault won its opener in OT at Red Wing, 3-2. Austin Lewis scored the game winning goal 5:28 into OT, his second goal of the game. ... The Falcons play seven of their first eight games against Big Nine opponents.
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AROUND THE STATE
* No. 2-AA Lakeville North at Farmington: A rematch of last year's Section 1AA championship game will take place at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Schmitz-Maki Arena in Farmington. North won that game 6-0 and went on to finish second in the state.
* No. 8-AA Eden Prairie at No. 10-AA Maple Grove: Eden Prairie's strength is its veteran defensive corps, but it lacks experience in goal. Maple Grove expects to contend for a spot in the state tournament, but it scored just three total goals in losses to Wayzata and Holy Family Catholic last weekend.