Boys hockey: Rivalry victory a long time coming for JM
Rochester John Marshall has found a formula for success.
Rochester John Marshall has found a perfect formula for success: Solid goaltending and defense backing up four lines that can roll for 51 minutes.
Saturday night, JM used that formula to shake a monkey off its back.
Four players scored at least once, seven got on the scoresheet and its senior goalie stood tall in a 5-2 Big Nine Conference boys hockey victory against rival Rochester Mayo.
The victory in an intense, emotional game snapped JM's 10-game losing streak against Mayo in front of a vocal crowd at Graham Arena I. It marked the Rockets' first victory against their oldest rival since a 4-3 win at Graham Arena on Dec. 10, 2011.
"We did this for our coach (Jay Ness). He beat them the first time he ever faced them, but since then ...," said JM senior forward Isaac Lamppa, who scored his team's first goal and last goal. "We did it for him and all of us. It was really a team effort.
"I can't speak for the guys four years ago, but I'm sure it was frustrating. Every loss to a cross-town rival is so frustrating and really hits home."
JM and Northfield are the only two unbeaten teams in Big Nine Conference play. JM is 4-0-0 in the Big Nine and 4-1-0 overall, the lone loss a 3-2 overtime defeat at Spring Lake Park on Dec. 5.
The Rockets controlled play for long stretches Saturday and outshot Mayo 33-24. Senior goalie Brady Meyers — who ranks 11th in the state with a .931 save percentage — made 22 saves, including 15 in a back-and-forth second period.
"Brady is our backbone," Lamppa said. "Even though he has a lot of hype around him, I still think he's underrated. He's that good."
JM outshot the Spartans (4-2-0, 4-3-0) 12-4 in the opening period, but trailed 1-0, as Mayo sophomore goalie Liam Claton made 12 of his 28 saves and Joe Hornsby scored on a one-timer from Ryan Alcott.
"He has to keep playing; he's getting better with every game," Mayo coach Lorne Grosso said of Claton. "He's tough, he plays the puck well, he's conscientious and he moves well.
"When we're working hard and playing well, I like that. We made some mistakes, some simple mistakes. You can do the same things over and over in practice, but if you get away from it in a game, everyone is confused."
JM took control in the second period. Lamppa tapped in a rebound of a Josh Frerks point shot on a power play at 3:15 to tie it 1-1. Noah Antes scored an unassisted goal just 1:13 later, then Luke Ranfranz scored top-shelf from the low right circle at the 9:22 mark.
That made it 3-1 JM after two.
Mayo's Max Billings scored his seventh goal of the season with 14 seconds left on a power play midway through the third to pull the Spartans within 3-2. But JM put the game away late, as Frerks scored with 5:09 to play and Lamppa added an empty-net goal with 20.4 seconds to go.
"We talked about it before the game," JM coach Jay Ness said. "I asked if anybody in the room had beaten this team. The answer was 'no.' It's been a long time coming for them. I happy for them and proud of the way they played."
JM 5, Mayo 2
First period— 1. M, Joe Hornsby 3 (Nick Norby 6, Ryan Alcott 2) 2:29. Second period— 2. JM, Isaac Lamppa 6 (Josh Frerks 5) 3:15 (pp). 3. JM, Noah Antes 1 (unassisted) 4:28. 4. JM, Luke Ranfranz 3 (Brandon Ratzloff 4) 9:22. Third period— 5. M, Max Billings 7 (unassisted) 8:34 (pp). 6. JM, Frerks 4 (Conner Lee 6, Brady Dahl 6) 11:51. 7. JM, I. Lamppa 7 (unassisted) 16:39 (en).
Shots on goal— JM 12-9-12—33, M 4-15-5—24. Goalies— JM, Brady Meyers (W, 4-1-0; 24 shots-22 saves); M, Liam Claton (L, 3-2-0; 32 shots-28 saves). Power plays— JM, 1-for-5; M, 1-for-5. Penalties— JM, 7-14 minutes; M, 7-14 minutes.