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« PHERSY AND FATIS SHOW: Hi Mommy and Daddy Edition | Main | Junior Hockey | Changes coming in the NAHL »

January 18, 2013

High School Hockey | Mayo vs. JM, Take 106, set for Saturday

Posted by: Feldman

It was a year ago at this time when I took a look back at the long rivalry between Rochester John Marshall and Rochester Mayo. Here's a link to that story from our archives; it was one of my favorite stories I've done in the eight years I've been here. Here's the story that ran on the front of the Sports section that day, with a look at where the rivalry stands today. They may not play in front of sold-out arenas anymore, but the battles for bragging rights are no less intense.

Thinking back on it now, no one I interviewed would flat-out say "yeah, we hated Mayo's guts" or "we wanted to beat JM by eight every time out," but I could sense it in just about everyone I talked to on both sides. There was definitely a lot of respect both ways, but there's no doubt the JM-Mayo matchup is one that every player on both teams would circle on the calendar as soon as the schedule came out.

The rivals will meet at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Graham Arena I. It will be the 106th matchup in a series that is remarkably close:

• JM holds a slim 53-51-1 lead after 105 games. Mayo has won four in a row against JM to pull close.

• Perhaps the most amazing stat in this long, storied rivalry is that Mayo has never held the series lead. And the last time the series was tied was at the end of the 1968-69 season, when the series stood at 3-3-0.

• If Mayo wins tonight, it will be just one game down in the all-time series for the first time since the end of the 2001-02 season, when a 14-game winning streak in the series pulled it within 40-39-1.

A few bulletpoints on tonight's game:

• Mayo is 7-0-0 in the Big Nine (the only remaining unbeaten team in the conference) and 12-4-0 overall. JM is 4-5-0, 5-11-0, but the Rockets have won two in a row and have been boosted by the return of three of their top players to the lineup after missing half the season because of MSHSL rules violations.

• In the series, 38 games have been decided by one goal. I wouldn't be shocked if Saturday's game turns out to be a one-goal game. Don't think so? Check out the scores of the last seven games between these teams:

Dec. 30, 2010 — JM 2, Mayo 1, OT (Kiwanis Festival 7th place game)
Jan. 15, 2011 — Mayo 2, JM 1 (Meeting No. 100)
Dec. 10, 2011 — JM 4, Mayo 3
Dec. 30, 2011 — Mayo 3, JM 2 (Kiwanis Festival 7th-place game)
Jan. 21, 2012 — Mayo 4, JM 1
Feb. 23, 2012 — Mayo 3, JM 2 (Section 1AA quarterfinal)
Dec. 8, 2012 — Mayo 2, JM 0

That's five one-goal games and a two-goal game in the last seven matchups.

I'm sure Saturday's game will again hinge on the play of the goaltenders — Mayo's Case Hansen and JM's Jacob Garvey.

Don't discount the addition of Gavin Sandwick, Hunter Heightland and Alex Lovett back into the Rockets lineup. With those three guys in the lineup, JM can now have its second- and third-line guys playing on the second and third lines, rather than playing up a line. The Rockets are certainly more well-equipped to watch Mayo's depth.

Watch Mayo's third line, too. Sophomores Ethan Moore, Nick Newman and Logan Haskins are getting comfortable in the varsity game and have started producing points. In fact, the Spartans have been getting scoring from all three lines. So, Saturday's game could come down to Mayo's forward depth vs. JM's forward depth.

Game No. 106 is set for 7:30 p.m. at Graham Arena.

• • •

Before we end this, though, when I wrote the piece about the history of the rivalry last year, I did a series of 10 blog posts looking back at every game played between these teams. Here are those posts:

The beginning of the rivalry: Games 1-10

The names Strobel, Lecy appear: Games 11-20

Games 21-30

Games 31-40 feature a good goaltending battle in a playoff game and a game televised in Rochester

Podein, Zmolek enter the picture: Games 41-50

Games 51-60 feature Mayo's biggest victory in the rivalry and a John Marshall player bouncing back from two broken legs

Games 61-70 can be found here

Games 71-80 include one of the best games ever played in the series, a double-OT thriller in a section final

Games 81-91 are here

Recaps of games 92-102, which led into the article I wrote, can be found here

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