The JM-Mayo rivalry: Games 41-50
Posted by: Feldman
We're almost halfway through the Rivalry Recaps, guess I better get going on my actual stories for Friday's print edition, eh? ;)
Today's 10 recaps feature an unlikely rally, the appearance of names "Podein" and "Zmolek," and the last JM-Mayo game for one of the city's all-time greatest coaches.
GAME 41 / Feb. 16, 1985 / JM 5, Mayo 4 (OT)
A goodbye gift for Sack
In the first minute of overtime, Mark Hugeback hit Guy Woodle with a perfect feed and Woodle beat Mayo goalie Ray Perry low to the near side for a victory that clinched a conference title. It added a great parting gift for 32-year coach Gene Sack, who coached in his final JM-Mayo game. The Big Nine title was 10th and last. "It feels great inside," Sack said. "For the kids to give that kind of an effort, maybe this one was the best." JM never trailed in the game. Hugeback made it 1-0 just 28 seconds in on a feed from Shjon Podein. The duo connected again late in the first for a 2-1 lead, and Jim Wentworth and Woodle scored in the second for a 4-1 lead. Podein assisted on the first three JM goals as the Rockets went 10-0-0 in Big Nine play. Ross Johnson scored twice for Mayo, while Joe Lovett and Andy Newcomer scored once each. JM's Kevin Swanson made 21 saves, including three from close range in OT.
GAME 42 / Dec. 19, 1985 / Mayo 3, JM 2
Unlikely rally lifts Spartans
Mayo trailed 2-1 in the final minute of the third period, but with its goalie pulled, Mayo's Andy Sterioff scored with 45 seconds remaining. Just 10 seconds later, Joe Kimball tapped in a feed from Ross Johnson to help the No. 8-ranked Spartans improve to 4-1. JM saw its 15-game Big Nine Conference win streak snapped. Johnson also set up Sterioff for the tying goal. Shjon Podein had snapped a 1-1 tie at 7:52 of the third when he beat Mayo goalie Ray Perry to the short side. Steve Danek scored late in the second period for a 1-0 JM lead, but Mayo answered just 34 seconds into the third when Sterioff scored on a rebound of a shot by Todd Huyber.
GAME 43 / Feb. 15, 1986 / JM 5, Mayo 0
Hats off to Podein
JM senior winger Shjon Podein said he "had been nervous about this game for a month." But, two days prior, he predicted his Rockets would win, 5-0. Podein backed up his talk with a hat trick — all unassisted — and his prediction came true as JM won, 5-0. JM coach Bob Frerker also saw some supernatural forces align. "No kidding, I dreamt about this, and it was 5-0," he said. It was a rebound victory for JM, which lost a 2-1 lead in the final 45 seconds against Mayo in their first meeting of the season. Sophomore goalie Jeff Kruesel got his first-ever start against Mayo and made the most of it, stopping 32 shots to record his third consecutive shutout and lower his goals-against average to 1.75 in 13 games (7-4-2). The loss was Mayo's first in 12 games.
GAME 44 / Jan. 15, 1987 / Mayo 3, JM 0
Shutout a long time coming for Mayo
In front of a packed Rec Center, Mayo goalie Gary Aug made 22 saves and the Spartans denied JM on six power-play chances to earn their first shutout against the Rockets since Dec. 8, 1973. Mayo scored all three of its goals on the power play, including the game winner by Scot Rownd at 10:29 of the opening period. The Spartans had just 15 shots on goal in the game, while JM had 22.
GAME 45 / Feb. 21, 1987 / JM 7, Mayo 0
Rockets take back Big 9 title
After watching Mayo win the Big Nine Conference title in 1985-86, JM put itself back on top with a shutout thumping of its top rival, 7-0. The win gave the Rockets the conference crown by one point over Mayo. JM finished 10-1-1 in conference play, while Mayo finished 10-2-0. Chris Ratzloff had a hat trick and Doug Zmolek scored twice for JM. Jeff Kruesel and Steve Erickson combined to get the shutout in goal. Kruesel stopped all but one of Mayo's 13 shots; he was benched with eight minutes to go after getting a 10-minute misconduct penalty.
GAME 46 / Jan. 14, 1988 / JM 7, Mayo 1
Diminutive Danek lifts Rockets
Steve Danek, a 5-foot-6 sparkplug of a forward, had a four-point game, including a nice tip-in of a Mike Aikens slapshot from the point in the third period. The third-ranked Rockets improved to 11-1 overall and 3-1 in the Big Nine. Danek set up Mike Curry twice and Gene Rebellato once for goals. JM outshot Mayo, 40-14. Geoff Olsen scored Mayo's goal on a nice feed from Tom Kelley.
GAME 47 / Feb. 20, 1988 / JM 8, Mayo 2
Rockets bring party to the ice
JM's Pat Ferschweiler celebrated his birthday on and off the ice. He had a hat trick and an assist in JM's 8-2 romp. "We kind of postponed the (off-ice) party, but that's OK. I'd say this was a good enough birthday present," Ferschweiler told the P-B. The win gave JM its second consecutive Big Nine title and fifth in six years. JM led 3-0 — on two goals by Ferschweiler and one by Tom Graham — before Mayo got its first shot on goal (10:31 in). JM outshot Mayo, 36-17.
GAME 48 / Jan. 14, 1989 / JM 4, Mayo 1
Less is more for Rockets
Mayo outshot JM, 29-23, but the Rockets never trailed in beating Mayo for a fourth consecutive time. JM led 2-0 after one period and remained unbeaten in the Big Nine (5-0 conference, 10-4 overall). Mayo dropped to 4-1, 9-5. The Rockets scored twice in the first 5:50 of the game, then again 2:57 into the third for a 3-0 lead. Troy Bixby and Eric Monsrud scored in the first for JM, while Bucky Flores and Corey Ratzloff scored in the third. Mayo's Andy Klingsporn spoiled JM's shutout with 6:39 to go in the third. Sam Pearson had 28 saves for JM, while Steve DeBus made 19 stops for Mayo. Flores' goal was his first point of the season.
GAME 49 / Feb. 11, 1989 / JM 1, Mayo 0
Rockets grind out a shutout
Eric Means jammed in a centering pass from Scott Monsrud at 5:56 of the second period for the only goal JM needed. The Rockets went 12-0 in Big Nine Conference play and clinched a third consecutive conference championship. JM's 12 conference wins set a single-season record and it marked just the second time a team had gone unbeaten in Big Nine play. Sam Person made 23 saves to earn the shutout, while Mayo's Dan Beaupre made 30 saves. Pearson stood tall in the second after Means' goal, on three tries by the Spartans: (1). James Balkins hit the post at 7:16 with Pearson out of position; (2) he denied Brent Harders at the goal mouth at 7:56; and (3) Jon Lobland and Tom Kelley were stopped on consecutive chances from close range at 8:49. JM was ranked No. 3 in the state at the time and earned the 11th shutout in the history of the rivalry.
GAME 50 / Dec. 14, 1989 / JM 3, Mayo 2
JM wins goaltender battle
A sign on the wall at Graham Arena said "The Puck Stops Here." It sure did in this game. JM's Sam Pearson (29 saves) and Mayo's Steve DeBus (26) both had outstanding performances. Pearson had to battle to preserve the victory in the final minute. Mayo's Bill Towey scored with 37 seconds to go to pull within 3-2. Mayo pressured again, but Pearson made a big kick save with 10 seconds to go, then smothered the puck in a sramble with 3 seconds to go. DeBus' best save came with 8:42 remaining, when he came well out of the crease to stop a close-range shot by JM's T.J. Ratzloff. Brock Peterson scored the game winning goal for the Rockets.
Through 50 games
• JM leads 35-13-2
• JM has outscored Mayo, 206-120