H.S. Hockey tonight | Feb. 10, 2011
Just two games on the schedule tonight, including a 4-point game for Century, against Faribault. A Panthers win keeps them in line for a chance at the Big Nine Conference title. A loss probably ends their hopes of winning the conference. The Panthers probably aren't as concerned about a conference title as they are about getting back on a positive track heading into the postseason. They've dropped three consecutive games, to very good teams, and could use a confidence-boosting victory.
Of the three teams tied for the Big Nine lead -- Albert Lea, Mankato West and Mayo (all with 22 points) -- West is the only team in action tonight. It will likely beat Austin, which would leave it two points ahead of Mayo and Albert Lea. Century could jump into a three-way tie for second with a win against Faribault.
Lourdes, which deservedly moved back up to No. 5 in this week's Class A state poll, is also back in action tonight, less than 48 hours removed from an emotional overtime loss to top-ranked St. Thomas Academy. It's senior night for the Eagles tonight at Graham Arena, against Owatonna. Lourdes (19-3-0) is also shooting for its 20th win of the season.
FARIBAULT at CENTURY
When: 7:30 p.m. tonight
Where: Rochester Recreation Center
Records: Faribault 5-3-0 Big Nine, 8-12-1 overall; Century 6-3-0, 9-11-0
Last game: Faribault beat Chanhassen, 4-0, on Saturday; Century lost to No. 3-ranked Benilde-St. Margaret's, 7-3, on Saturday.
Spotlight players: Faribault has won back-to-back games by a combined score of 9-1. Senior F Sean Lipinski has four points in those games and nine points in the past five games. He is second on the Falcons in scoring this season (14-11--25). ... Century junior F Tyler Iversonis getting back in the scoring column. He has three points in the past two games, including two assists in Saturday's loss to Benilde. That was a game in which the score was tied 2-2 after two periods, but B-SM took control in the third. Iverson now has eight points this season (4-4--8).
OWATONNA at No. 5 LOURDES
When: 7:30 p.m. tonight
Where: Graham Arena
Records: Owatonna 7-15-0; Lourdes 19-3-0
Last game: Owatonna lost to Rochester Mayo, 4-2, on Tuesday; Lourdes lost at No. 1 St. Thomas Academy, 6-5, in OT, on Tuesday.
Spotlight players: Owatonna has lost three games in a row and managed a total of just three goals in those games. Goal scoring is clearly an issue for the Huskies, who have just one player -- senior F/D David Feichtinger-- with more than seven goals. Feichtinger has 13 this season. ... Lourdes hadn't given up six goals in a game all season before Tuesday's 6-5 OT loss to top-ranked STA, but don't confuse that goals-allowed total for a poor performance by Lourdes G Nick Heimer. There might be one or two Heimer would like to have back from that game, but for the most part, STA's goals came on good plays from the Cadets skilled skaters. Heimer's numbers (19-3-0, 1.89 GAA, .911 save pct.) are fantastic this season, and those numbers don't lie. Heimer has the mental toughness -- and poise -- to bounce back well from Tuesday's tough loss. Don't be surprised if he has an even stronger finish to the regular season.