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January 27, 2011

H.S. Hockey tonight | Jan. 27, 2011

FELDY: Lots to get to today, with Lourdes and all three Rochester Big Nine teams back in action, so let's get right to it.


: 7:30 p.m. tonight
Where: New Ulm Civic Center
Records: No. 11-ranked Lourdes, 15-2-0; New Ulm, 12-3-2
Last game: Lourdes topped Section 1A rival New Prague, 3-1, on Tuesday; New Ulm lost to Chaska, 7-6, on Tuesday.
Featured players: For Lourdes, senior F Andy Benner is on a mini-roll (mmmmm ... mini rolls. Sorry, I'll stop channeling my inner-Homer Simpson). He opened the season with two assists in the Eagles' first game. He didn't have a point in the next 14 games, because, well, he was out with an injury for seven weeks. But Benner has scored a goal in back-to-back games since returning. He's clearly a big boost to an already strong lineup. (My apologies to Andy for failing to note yesterday that he had missed seven weeks. Bad oversight on my part, especially since I one he'd been out of the lineup.) ... New Ulm senior G Blake Burgau stole the spotlight at last month's Kiwanis Festival in Rochester, stopping 60 shots over three games as the Eagles knocked off previously-unbeaten Eau Claire (Wis.) Memorial in the tournament title game. Burgau hadn't cooled down until two days ago, when he allowed seven goals on 36 shots in a loss to Chaska. Prior to that, it had been 11 games since Burgau had allowed more than two goals in a game.
Notes: This is likely a battle of teams that will be the top seed in their respective section tournaments -- Lourdes in 1A, New Ulm in 3A. ... New Ulm has two 30-point scorers -- 6-foot-4 senior F Kaleb Juntenen (10-20--30) and 5-8 junior F Brody Peterson (13-17--30).

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight
Where: Four Seasons Centre, Owatonna
Records: Century 8-7-0; Owatonna 5-12-0
Last game: Century beat Rochester John Marshall, 3-2, on Saturday at Hockey Day Rochester; Owatonna lost at Albert Lea, 8-2, on Jan. 20
Featured players: Century junior F Isaac St. Marie is playing well, with three points in the past five games. He has seven points this season (3-4--7) and has quietly become the Panthers' sixth-leading scorer. He is the team's third-leading scorer among forwards. ... Owatonna has struggled on both ends of the ice this season. The Huskies have used three different goalies and have just three players with 10 or more points. Their second-leading scorer is senior F Jesse Ebeling, who has four points in the past five games.
Notes: This is a 2-point game in the Big Nine Conference standings. ... Century won the previous meeting between these teams this season, 4-0, at the Rochester Rec Center on Dec. 14.

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight
Where: Rochester Recreation Center
Records: Winona 4-11-1; JM 9-8-0
Last game: Winona lost to Albert Lea, 6-2, on Tuesday; JM lost to Rochester Century, 3-2, on Saturday, during Hockey Day Rochester.
Featured players: Winona senior D Frank Wychgram is the team's top scoring defenseman, with 15 points. He has five points in the past eight games, but just one in the past four. Wychgram is a big part of the Winhawks offense; he is the team's second-leading scorer. ... JM junior D Matt Broman (6-feet-2, 185) is tied with senior AJ Johnson for the team lead in defenseman points, with nine. Broman has four assists in the past five games.
Notes: After tonight's game, four of JM's remaining seven games are against non-conference opponents. ... This is a 2-point game in the conference standings. These teams meet again on Feb. 17 at Winona.

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight
Where: Graham Arena I
Records: Austin 3-14-0; Mayo 7-10-0
Last game: Austin lost to Waseca, 4-3, on Saturday; Mayo defeated Rochester Century, 3-0, on Jan. 20
Featured players: A big question for Austin at the start of the season was, where would the Packers find some scoring? Their offense hasn't been as anemic as many message-board posters predicted, though it hasn't been lighting up the scoreboard, either. The Packers have scored 40 goals in 17 games and are led by sophomore F Ethan Larson (7-6--13). He has six points in the past nine games. ... Mayo sophomore F Ryan Martin has become a key part of the Spartans power play and its top scoring line. Martin (5-5--10; four points in the past two games), fellow soph. Adam Alcott and senior Derek McMasters rarely leave the ice. They anchor the team's first power-play unit (along with d-men Bill Norman and Steve Serratore) and their teamwork is big reason why Mayo has become the most improved team in the BIg Nine since the start of the season.
Notes: This is a 4-point game in the Big Nine standings; the only meeting between these teams this season.


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Andy Benner had a broken wrist, not a knee injury...

Oh, my. I'm batting .000 here with this Benner thing (0-for-2). Sorry for the mess-up, again; I'll change it to "injury" and leave it at that. And I'll duck for cover in case Andy wants to swing his Christian Brothers at me next time he sees me (kidding, of course. Hopefully).

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