High School Hockey Tonight, Part II | Feb. 14, 2012
Posted by: Feldman
Games like this are why we love sports.
Games like this are why the 40 players who dress for tonight's game started playing hockey. Of course, regardless of who wins tonight's intra-city showdown for the Big Nine Conference championship, both Rochester Century and Rochester Mayo will still have at least a couple of games left to play this season.
Neither team's season is on the line tonight, but, bragging rights and adding another conference title to their resume are.
This is it. One game. Winner take all for the conference championship. The only way the Big Nine title isn't decided tonight is if Mayo and Century tie. Century takes a one-point lead in the Big Nine standings into the 7:30 p.m. game at the Rec Center.
This is Century's final conference game; Mayo has one more remaining after tonight, on Saturday against Winona.
If Century wins tonight, it will have 31 points in the standings, while Mayo will have 28. A Mayo victory would give the Spartans a 30-29 advantage. A tie tonight would give Century 30 points, Mayo 29, and both teams would have to hold their breath until Mayo and Winona meet on Saturday afternoon at Graham I.
I won't begin to make a prediction on this game because these intra-city games never seem to go the way I think they will. These teams know each other so well, that they almost always play to one- or two-goal games. Check out the scores from this season's games between Rochester's three Big Nine teams:
JM 4, Mayo 3
JM 5, Century 4
Mayo 3, JM 2
Century 4, JM 1
Mayo 3, Century 1
Mayo 4, JM 1
That's three one-goal games, a two-goal game (including an empty net goal) and two three-goal games.
I guess that means this game will come down to defensive zone play and the goalies -- Century's Erik Wennberg and Mayo's Case Hansen.
For the record, Mayo last won a Big 9 title in 2002. Century shared the conference title in 2010 (with Faribault) and 2009 (with Albert Lea). The Panthers last won the conference outright in 2007, when they went unbeaten in Big 9 play.