High school hockey tonight | Feb. 8, 2011
FELDY: Three Rochester teams are in action tonight; Century is off, after a tough stretch that included games against Lakeville South, Minnetonka and Benilde-St. Margaret's. John Marshall and Mayo are playing some of their best hockey of the season right now -- JM is 8-3-0 since the beginning of January, while Mayo is 5-1-1 in its past seven games. Mayo's game at Owatonna tonight is big for section seeding purposes, while JM's game against Mankato East is key for the Rockets to see if they can maintain a high level of play against an inferior opponent.
The big game of the night, though, is the one in Mendota Heights. No. 11-ranked Rochester Lourdes faces top-ranked St. Thomas Academy. Lourdes gained some confidence and momentum on Saturday, jumping out to a three-goal lead on its way to a 5-3 win against No. 5 Breck at the Rec Center.
STA will be an entirely different challenge for the Eagles. The Cadets are 14-5-0. Their 25-game schedule includes 14 games against teams ranked in this week's Class A or AA polls, as well as games against non-MSHSL teams Delbarton Academy (N.J.) and Shattuck St. Mary's Prep of Faribault. The schedule also includes two games against Class AA powers Hill Murray (ranked No. 1) and Minnetonka (No. 4).
No. 11 LOURDES at No. 1 STA
When: 7 p.m. tonight
Where: St. Thomas Ice Arena, Mendota Heights
Records: Lourdes 19-2-0; STA 14-5-0
Last game: Lourdes beat No. 5-A Breck, 5-3, on Saturday; STA beat No. 7-A South St. Paul, 5-0, on Saturday.
Spotlight players: Lourdes senior F Connor Nellanshas eight points this season (3-5--8) and one in the past six games, but the things he does on both ends of the ice that don't show up on the scoresheet are what makes him so valuable. Nellans' effort set the tone for the Eagles on Saturday in the win against Breck. He's a key member of the Eagles' penalty-killing unit, too, which was perfect on four kills against Breck. ... STA senior F Zach Schroeder (yep, younger bro of former Cadet and Gopher Jordan Schroeder) is the Cadets' leading scorer and has committed to play Division I hockey at RPI. Zach has 37 points through 19 games (14-23--37). He has been on a tear lately, with 23 points in the past seven games.
MAYO at OWATONNA
When: 7:30 p.m. tonight
Where: Four Seasons Centre, Owatonna
Records: Mayo 7-2-1 Big Nine, 9-11-1 overall; Owatonna 4-7-0, 7-14-0
Last game: Mayo beat Winona, 7-1, on Saturday; Owatonna lost to Orono, 6-0, on Saturday.
Spotlight players: Spartans goalie Alex Van Galder has continued his strong play throughout the second half of the season. The senior has allowed one goal or less in four of the past six games. In three of those games, he faced 31 or more shots. ... Offensive production has been a struggle for the Huskies this season. Senior F/D David Feichtinger leads the team with 19 points. He has 11 of those in the past seven games, but that stretch includes a seven-point game against Mankato East and a hat trick against Winona.
MANKATO EAST at JOHN MARSHALL
When: 7:30 p.m. tonight
Where: Rochester Recreation Center
Records: East 0-8-0, 1-20-0; JM 7-4-0, 12-9-0
Last game: East lost to Austin, 8-1, on Thursday; JM beat St. Paul Highland Park, 12-1, on Saturday.
Spotlight players: East goalie Lucas Weihedoesn't have great numbers (7.64 GAA, .852 save pct.), but those aren't entirely his fault. A young East team has struggled to score and struggled defensively, but Weihe has faced more than 660 shots in 16 appearances (he faces an average of 41.3 shots per game, and averages 35.1 saves per game). ... JM junior D Matt Bromanhad a breakout game on Saturday, nearly doubling his season goals total with a hat trick at St. Paul Highland Park. He now has 14 points (7-7--14) this season. Broman not only can provide some offense for the Rockets, but his physical presence (6-feet-2, 185 pounds) is big for JM in their own zone.