Owatonna Hockey Teams Stay in Big Nine Title Chase
The Owatonna girls' hockey team topped Rochester Mayo 4-2 in a Friday night makeup game while the Huskies' boys tied Mankato East 1-1 on Saturday. Each team is within striking distance of the conference lead with big games on the horizon.
The girls were led by a balanced scoring attack. Kiley Friedrichs scored 5:23 into the game. Sydney Hunst gave Owatonna the lead back late in the first period after Mayo had evened the game. Maylynn Prokopec tallied her 11th goal of the season to give the Huskies the lead for good late in the second period.
Anna Herzog pushed the lead to 4-1 before Mayo ended the scoring late in the third. Rilee Schmidt had two assists. Laura Ebeling made 25 saves for the win. Owatonna (12-4, 8-2 Big Nine) hosts Faribault Tuesday, January 16, travels to Rochester Century Thursday and plays Red Wing at Four Seasons in Owatonna Saturday, January 20 on cancer fundraising night.
Northfield leads the Big Nine standings as of Saturday, January 13 with 24 points. Rochester Mayo has 22 and Owatonna is third with 20.
The Owatonna boys' were locked in a back-and-forth struggle with the conference-leading Cougars Saturday afternoon. Speedy Mankato East sprung several odd-man rushes throughout the game and turned loose a pair of short-handed break-away chances early, but sophomore goalie Zach Wiese who was up to each challenge.
The Huskies broke through late in the first period on a nifty pass from behind the net by Tyler Wencl to Nate Smith who pounded it home for a 1-0 lead at 10:22. East answered early in the second with a great individual effort from sophomore Matthew Salzle, who split through the Huskies' defense and beat Wiese high 2:16 into the period for what turned out to be the final goal.
East goalie Jack Cusey made saves on several point-blank OHS opportunities. The Huskies had to kill off a questionable goaltender interference call in the overtime period. With the 1-1 tie, the teams splits the four conference points. East still stands atop the Big Nine through January 13 with 20 points. Northfield and Rochester Century are at 16 with Owatonna fourth at 14.
OHS (7-6-1, 4-1-1 Big Nine) plays at Faribault Tuesday, January 16, hosts Century Thursday and goes to Red Wing Saturday, January 20.