Sorry to get these out a little late today; I've been head-down in my stuff for tomorrow's print edition.
So we're just two days away from meeting No. 103 between the Mayo and John Marshall boys hockey teams. That means we're quickly running out of Rivalry Recaps ... sniff ... sniff.
I've had a great time putting these together and I hope you've enjoyed them or they've brought back some memories. I've also talked to a bunch of former players and coaches (and some guys currently involved) and I appreciate all of their help. I could sit and listen to their stories for hours.
Anyhow, some of those stories will find their way into the print edition of the P-B on Friday. So pick it up, buy it, read it. Please. Pretty please.
We won't actually post the final 11 Rivalry Recaps here on the blog until Saturday morning, prior to that day's JM-Mayo game.
Let's get on with today's recaps. Today we look at games 71-80 in the series, which include one of the best games ever played between these teams (a double-OT thriller in a section final), a Big Nine title-clinching victory, and the first meeting ever JM-Mayo game in the Kiwanis Festival. Today's games take us from Dec. 17, 1998 through Feb. 7, 2002.
GAME 71 / Dec. 17, 1998 / Mayo 6, JM 2
GAME 72 / Jan. 30, 1999 / Mayo 3, JM 0Mayo strikes early, shuts down Rockets
Spartans wake up, blitz Rockets
In a game that was scoreless until the final three minutes of the second period, it took a JM goal to get Mayo going. Todd Hangge — who accounted for both of JM's goals — gave the Rockets a 1-0 lead at 12:28 of the first period. Mayo responded just 1:29 later, when Brian Fisher scored to tie it. Just 29 seconds after that, scored the first of his two goals, giving Mayo the lead for good. Bahr and Ben Larson then each scored once in the first 1:31 of the third as Mayo pulled away. Andy Canzanello and Mike Vlasak tacked on a goal each for the Spartans.
Max Bahr scored twice for Mayo in the first 4:04 of the game and the Spartans breezed to a 3-0 victory in front of less than 1,000 people at the Rochester Recreation Center, a crowd believed to be one of the smallest (at the time) to see a JM-Mayo game. Mayo's defense limited JM to 12 shots on goal -- Spartans sophomore goalie Jeff Jakaitis, making his first start against JM, stopped them all -- including just one in the third period. JM goalie Tom Lovett did his best to keep the Rockets in the game, stopping 36 shots. Sam Everson also scored once for Mayo.
GAME 73 / Feb. 24, 1999 / Mayo 5, JM 4 (2 OT) / Section 1 championship
An instant classic
Prior to the start of the second overtime of the 1998-99 Section 1 championship game at Mariucci Arena, Mayo co-coach Jeff Whitney asked Matt Notermann if he had enough energy to play every-other shift. "I'll go 'til we win," Notermann told him. That didn't take long. Mayo won the opening faceoff of the second OT and defenseman Brandon Wiltgen dumped the puck into the JM zone. It bounced off the endboards and right to Notermann, who was cutting to the net. He gathered the puck and fired it past JM goalie Tom Lovett for a 5-4 victory, sending Mayo back to the state tournament. Top-seeded Mayo had defeated JM twice in the regular season, and the sixth-seeded Rockets nearly pulled off the upset in the section final. The Rockets led 4-3 with four minutes to go in regulation, but Max Bahr scored at 11:34 of the third period to force OT. Bahr scored twice in the game, while Brandon Buskowiak and Colin Nash also scored for the Spartans. Todd Hangge, Andy Mack, Corey Kanz and Graham Plumhoff tallied for JM. Plumhoff's goal at 2:25 of the third looked like it could be the game winner until Bahr's goal late in the period. "Before the last overtime, they all sat in (the locker room), composed," Whitney said. "I have never seen a team as focused as this one."
GAME 74 / Dec. 21, 1999 / Mayo 3, JM 2
The d-man does it for Mayo
Mayo defenseman Mark Pettis scored just four goals during the 1998-99 season. By late December of the 1999-2000 season, Pettis had already scored three times, including two game winners. His second game winning goal of the season came midway through the third period of this game, completing the Spartans' rally from a 2-0 deficit. Pettis said his shot either deflected in off a JM player or was tipped by teammate Mitch Hanson. The Spartans entered the game ranked 10th in the state poll and improved to 4-0 with the victory, though all four wins came by one goal. Brian Fisher and Mike Vlasak scored for Mayo, 23 seconds apart in the second period to tie the score 2-2. Joe Magee scored at 6:11 of the first period to give JM at 1-0 lead, then T.J. Brekke made it 2-0 when he scored just 56 seconds into the second period. Tom Lovett made 24 saves for JM; Jeff Jakaitis made 22 stops to earn the win for Mayo.
GAME 75 / Feb. 10, 2000 / Mayo 5, JM 2
A title-clinching victory
Mayo scored three goals in the second period -- two by Sage Swanson, one from Scott Thauwald -- to beat JM for the ninth consecutive time. The Spartans also wrapped up their seventh consecutive outright or shared Big Nine Conference championship. Mayo was 14-0 in conference play and 18-2 overall after the 5-2 win, in which Brandon Buskowiak and Brian Fisher also scored for the Spartans. Joe Magee and Noah Kroening scored JM's goals. Future NHLer Bryce Lampman had an assist on each of the Rockets goals. JM fell to 11-3 in the Big Nine, 13-6-1 overall.
GAME 76 / Dec. 21, 2000 / Mayo 2, JM 0
Mayo's holds off gritty JM team
Mayo's Jeff Jakaitis stopped all 22 shots he faced to earn the shutout and lift the No. 6-ranked Spartans to a hard-fought victory against JM and first-year varsity goalie Mike McGarry, who made 32 saves to hold the Rockets in the game. Mayo's coaches praised JM's play, but were underwhelmed with their own team's effort. "On a scale of 0-to-10 for effort, I'll give that a 5," Mayo head coach Lorne Grosso said. JM was short on numbers, skating just two forward lines for a vast majority of the game, and inexperienced on defense. Yet, the Rockets hung in to the final buzzer. Mayo led 1-0 after two periods on a goal by Brandon Buskowiak. Mike Vlasak added one in the third.
GAME 77 / Dec. 28, 2000 / Mayo 6, JM 2
Spartans win showdown at Kiwanis Festival
In the first-ever meeting between two Rochester teams in the eight-year history of the Kiwanis Festival, Mayo jumped on JM early, then pulled away. The Spartans never trailed, as Tim Gerlesberger scored just 10 seconds into the game. Chad Wiesner answered for JM less than three minutes later, but Mitch Hanson countered for Mayo with an unassisted short-handed goal at 8:31 of the first to put the Spartans up for good. Sam Everson had two goals and an assist for Mayo, which advanced to the Kiwanis tournament championship game. Brandon Buskowiak and Scott Thauwald also scored once each for Mayo. Jeff Jakaitis stopped 20 shots in the win, while JM's Mike McGarry made 29 saves.
GAME 78 / Feb. 12, 2001 / Mayo 7, JM 2
Spartans respond to adversity
Two days after learning three varsity regulars were suspended for the remainder of the season, Mayo responded with one of its best outings of the year. The Spartans outshot JM, 49-18. Sam Everson led the way offensively for Mayo, with two goals (his 25th and 26th of the season) and an assist. Scott Thauwald, Mitch Hanson, Mike Vlasak, Mark Pettis and Josh Brady also scored for the Spartans. Tim Gerlesberger also had two assists for Mayo, which led 3-0 after one period and 7-2 after two. Chad Wiesner and Brian Peters scored for the Rockets.
GAME 79 / Jan. 5, 2002 / Mayo 4, JM 0
Mayo's "D" is the difference
Mayo senior goalie David Nash recorded his first varsity shutout, stopping all 16 shots JM put on goal. Four players scored once each for Mayo, including a highlight-reel, end-to-end rush by Scott Thauwald for a goal that made it 3-0 with just 10 seconds to go in the second period. Josh Brady, Andy Canzanello and Eric Kroning also scored one goal each. Josh Skinner made 22 saves for the Rockets. JM coach Aaron Neurer, whose team played with just 13 skaters because of lack of numbers, injuries and suspensions, said he was pleased with the Rockets' effort against a tough Mayo team. "This was the most consistent we've played all year," Neurer said. "We only have 13 skaters, but they have a lot of heart, a lot of grit." Mayo's coaches felt like their team let off the gas after outshooting JM 13-3 in the first period to build a 2-0 lead. "We're always happy to get a win over John Marshall," Mayo co-coach Jeff Whitney said, but coach Lorne Grosso added: "If you practiced for a piano concert for six weeks, would you then go out and just play whatever notes you felt like and expect to be successful?"
GAME 80 / Feb. 7, 2002 / Mayo 7, JM 4
Mayo's top line does the damage
Mayo's first line, featuring Scott Thauwald, Tim Gerlesberger and Jim Strain, did all of the damage for the Spartans in this victory against their oldest rival. Mayo rallied from a 3-1 deficit thanks to a hat trick and two assists from Thauwald, a hat trick and an assist from Strain, and a goal and two assists from Gerlesberger. Jake Hovick scored twice and Jeff Kothenbeutel once for JM, as it built a 3-1 lead in the opening period. Mayo seized control, though, with a four-goal second period, which included all three of Strain's goals. Matt Hawkinson added one goal in the second for the Rockets. Mayo outshot JM, 30-24. "JM came out and played hard," said Mayo co-coach Jeff Whitney, "but we didn't come out right away with enough intensity. The second period was the way we wanted to play hockey."
Through 80 games
* JM leads the series, 40-38-2
* JM has outscored Mayo, 267-243