Mayo breaks decade-plus drought, rallies to knock off Lakeville North
It's nearly 14 years to the day since the last time Mayo beat a Lakeville boys hockey team. It had been just more than 14 years since Mayo beat Lakeville North. Mayo snapped those streaks Thursday.
PB's 3 Stars
1. Jacob Brown, Mayo: The senior forward had a goal and two assists, giving him 12 points in the past seven games.
2. Ryan Dripps, Mayo: The senior forward scored twice in less than three minutes in the second period to help Mayo tie the score. Dripps now has six goals in his past nine games.
3. Nick Weick, Mayo: The Spartans' senior goalie stopped 22 shots to earn his 12th — and perhaps biggest — win of the season.
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ROCHESTER — The last time Rochester Mayo beat a Lakeville team in boys hockey, this year's Spartans seniors were still more than a year away from starting Kindergarten.
The wait to break that drought was long, but it was certainly worth it on Thursday night.
Mayo goalie Nick Weick made 22 saves, Jacob Brown had a three-point game, Ryan Dripps scored twice in the second period, then Matthew Siems notched the game-winning goal late in the third period to lift the Spartans to a 5-3 victory against Lakeville North at Graham Arena I.
Spartans coach Matt Notermann pointed to the effort of some players who didn't make the scoresheet, too.
"Our team again is anchored by our high character players after falling behind," Notermann said. "(Senior) Alec McBane, he's a great leader by example. Tonight his consistent team-first effort and his heart led us back into the game.
"His linemate, Dripps, scored twice and was great, too."
McBane, who had played defense as long as he has played hockey, recently shifted to forward, and made an immediate impression on the coaching staff.
"There's zero question to me as to who impacted the game the greatest," Notermann said. "We switched (McBane) to forward because of how well he can defend, but he has surprising skill and decision-making ability. He has embraced a role for the betterment of the team and is now a pretty awesome center. He's very smart, very hard-working, very tough. In a month, he may be the factor that changed our trajectory."
Thursday's game marked the first time North had played at Graham Arena in more than a decade.
And Siems' goal gave the Spartans their first win against North in just more than 14 years. Mayo's last win against the Panthers came on Jan. 17, 2009, a 4-2 victory at Graham Arena. The Spartans also beat Lakeville South that year, topping the Cougars 4-3 in overtime, at Lakeville.
Prior to Thursday's game, Mayo and North hadn't played since Nov. 27, 2012, a 3-0 North win at Graham Arena.
The Spartans have played Lakeville South 12 times since beating them in 2009, but South has won all 12 of those matchups.
Thursday's win is a massive one for Mayo (14-4-2 overall) for more reasons than just snapping a drought, though.
It should also bolster Mayo's seeding in the upcoming Section 1AA playoffs, which are scheduled to begin three weeks from tonight. The Spartans — who tied another of the section's top teams, Hastings, earlier this season — should be a top-three seed in the eight-team section.
North (8-10-0) jumped out to an early lead Thursday, as Tyler Arneson and Wyatt Albrecht scored two minutes apart in the final five minutes of the first period. North led 2-0 after one.
Drew Thompson then scored 3:19 into the second to extend the Panthers' lead to 3-0, but Weick and the Mayo defense put the clamps down from that point on.
Mayo took advantage of a power play opportunity shortly thereafter — North's Sam Njaa took 14 minutes worth of penalties on one play, getting called for high-sticking and unsportsmanlike conduct minors, as well as a 10-minute misconduct — 4:20 into the second period.
Payton Kor got the Spartans on the board with a power-play goal 5:40 into the second, then Dripps scored his first of the game, also on a power play, 1:16 later, to pull Mayo within 3-2.
Dripps needed just 2:25 more to add his second goal of the night, scoring an even-strength goal at the 9:21 mark to tie the score 3-3 and plant the momentum firmly on Mayo's side.
"That third line for us, as a whole, has added a really gritty component," Notermann said. "Dripps playing with them is allowing him to freewheel and use his gifts. He has speed, he's shifty, unpredictable and has great scoring abilities."
That's how the score remained until the clock wound down to nearly 6 minutes to go. Siems, a senior forward, became the hero of the night, scoring the game winner with 6:05 left in the third, his seventh goal of the season and third in the past five games.
Brown, a senior forward, had two assists in the game and added an empty-net goal in the final minute to secure Mayo's first win against North since 2009.
The Spartans have five regular-season games remaining, including another big Section 1AA matchup on Saturday, when they host Farmington at 7:15 p.m. at Graham Arena I.
MAYO 5, LAKEVILLE NORTH 3
Lakeville North 2-1-0 — 3
Rochester Mayo 0-3-2 — 5
First Period — 1. LN, Tyler Arneson (unassisted) 12:49. 2. LN, Wyatt Albrecht (Gavin Griffin) 14:49. Second Period — 3. LN, Drew Thompson (unassisted) 3:14. 4. RM, Payton Kor (Jacob Brown) 5:40 (pp). 5. RM, Ryan Dripps (Will Sexton) 6:56 (pp). 6. RM, Dripps (unassisted) 9:21. Third Period — 7. RM, Matthew Siems (Brown, Thomas Verdick) 10:55. 8. RM, Brown (unassisted) 16:23 (en).
Shots on goal — LN 16-6-3—25; RM 10-12-9—31. Goalies — LN, Van Eigner 26 saves (30 shots); RM, Nick Weick 22 saves (25 shots). Power-Play Opportunities — LN 0-for-1; RM 2-for-2. Penalties — LN, 3-14 minutes; RM, 1-2 minutes.