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Cothern, Mayo push speedy, powerful Hastings to OT

Tate Cothern made 49 saves and Rochester Mayo showed its offensive balance and depth, but the Spartans fell to powerful Hastings in overtime on Tuesday at Graham Arena.

Mayo vs. Hastings Boys Hockey
Rochester Mayo goalie Tate Cothern makes a save during a non-conference boys hockey game against Hastings on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, at Graham Arena I in Rochester.
Ken Klotzbach / Special to the Post Bulletin
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PB’S 3 STARS

3. Connor Stoffel (Hastings): The senior forward scored his 17th goal of the season in the first period. He and his linemates kept Mayo on its toes all night with their speed and quick transition game.

2. Tate Cothern (Mayo): The senior goalie was outstanding, making 49 stops, including one breakaway and a pair of odd-man rushes early in the game.

1. Jack Nicklay (Hastings): The senior defenseman assisted on the game-tying goal late in the second period, then scored the winner 1:17 into overtime.

• • • • • • • •

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Rochester Mayo has a luxury that not many high school hockey teams have.

The Spartans’ forwards and defensemen can turn around at any time during a game and see either No. 1 or No. 30 standing in their net. Far more often than not, either of those guys will come through when needed.

Tuesday night, No. 1 — senior goaltender Tate Cothern — was Mayo’s security blanket. He did his job, stopping 49 shots, as the Spartans hung with, but dropped a narrow 3-2 overtime decision against Section 1AA rival Hastings at Graham Arena I.

“That’s where he’s good, and he made three or four saves that Tate seems to make,” Mayo coach Matt Notermann said of Cothern’s play in tight situations around the net. “There were a couple … he has a pretty high standard for himself and I know there’s one today that didn’t make him happy. Then he got a knuckleball in overtime, that’s the way it goes, though; it’s never pretty in overtime.”

Though Cothern kept his team in the game with 15 saves in the first period, 19 in the second and 14 in the third, he wasn’t fully satisfied because of the end result. Despite that final score — Hastings won the game on a shot that defenseman Jack Nicklay nearly whiffed on, but got just enough of the puck to make it float and move and change direction in the air — Mayo was looking at the positives it could take from the contest: Mostly that it went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the section and proved that it, too, will be a team to be reckoned with come playoff time.

“It gives us a ton of confidence,” Cothern said. “This was, for the young guys, one of their first big tests. We played a good game, just not the way we wanted it to go, but if we see if them in the future, hopefully it’ll be a different outcome.”

Cothern and Notermann praised the team’s defensive effort. Though Hastings put 52 shots on net and used its speed to help it maintain possession of the puck, Cothern rarely gave up second opportunities and the Spartans’ defensemen were quick to make a clean first pass to get out of the defensive zone.

Our D are doing a much better job of moving back and identifying where the pressure is coming from

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“They’re getting the puck and either transitioning or turning it up quickly,” Notermann said of the Spartans’ defensemen. “They’re not automatically making pre-determined plays, like D-to-D passes. They’re doing a good job of taking the play for what is there, and their off-puck partner is doing a good job of communicating. … I couldn’t be prouder of those guys.”

Mayo vs. Hastings Boys Hockey
Rochester Mayo's Matt Siems (right) celebrates with teammates after a first-period goal during a non-conference boys hockey game against Hastings on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at Graham Arena I.
Ken Klotzbach / Special to the Post Bulletin

Mayo was also 4-for-5 on the penalty kill — and nearly was 5-for-5, as Hastings’ Stephen Rifenberger scored late on a power play with 23 seconds to go in the second period. That goal tied the score 2-2 and ultimately forced overtime.

It was the fourth overtime game of the season for Mayo (8-3-3 overall), which is now 0-1-3 in those games. Hastings (14-2-1 overall) improved to 1-0-1 in OT games.

Nicklay’s game-winning goal marked the only time all night that the Raiders led in the game.

“It was by far the fastest team, I think, we’ve played all year,” Cothern said of Hastings. “Their first line the fastest line we’ve seen all year, for sure. They’re a good test for us; we’ll get back to work tomorrow and get ready for Century (on Thursday).”

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Mayo took the lead in the game’s first minute, as Matt Siems scored his fourth goal of the year just 40 seconds in, with assists from Jacob Brown and Ryan Dripps. Hastings tied it at the 7:20 mark, when Connor Stoffel used his speed to beat a defenseman wide and sneak a shot past Cothern on the short side.

The Spartans answered 4:11 into the second when Dripps scored his second goal of the season, with an assist from Carson Beavers.

With exactly one month to go in the regular season, Mayo is done with its non-conference schedule. It has 10 games remaining — 11 if it can reschedule a game against rival John Marshall that was postponed last week — all against Big Nine Conference opponents.

“Our phase we’re in right now is that we should have no doubt we can play with these teams,” Notermann said. “We just have to bury some pucks.”

HASTINGS 3, MAYO 2 (OT)

Hastings 1-1-0-1 — 3

Mayo 1-1-0-0 — 2

First period — 1. RM, Matt Siems 4 (Jacob Brown 7, Ryan Dripps 4) :40. 2. HAST, Connor Stoffel 17 (Jake Harris 24) 7:20. Second period — 3. RM, Dripps 2 (Carson Beavers 2) 4:11. 4. HAST, Stephen Rifenberger 13 (Jack Nicklay 9) 16:37 (pp). Overtime — 5. HAST, Nicklay 5 (Collin Stewart 15, Connor Zgoda 2) 1:17.

Shots on goal — HAST 16-20-14-2 — 52, MAYO 5-7-9-0 — 21. Goalies — HAST, Holden Richardson (W, 9-1-0; 19 saves-21 shots); MAYO, Tate Cothern (L, 5-3-1; 49 saves-52 shots). Power-play opportunities — HAST, 1-for-5; Mayo 0-for-1. Penalties — HAST, 1-2 minutes; MAYO, 5-10 minutes.

Related Topics: BOYS HOCKEYMAYO HIGH SCHOOL
Jason Feldman is the sports editor of the Post Bulletin. In addition to managing the four-person sports staff at the PB, Jason covers high school football, golf and high school and junior hockey. Readers can reach Jason at 507-281-7430 or jfeldman@postbulletin.com.
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