Big Showdowns in Big Nine Thursday
Conference championships won't be determined Thursday, but several Owatonna sports teams face big events that will go a long toward determining Big Nine titles. The Huskies wrestlers, boys hockey, and gymnastics teams all have critical match-ups on the docket.
The Husky wrestlers go to Albert Lea for a 7 pm dual on AM 1390 KRFO. Over the last 24 seasons Owatonna and Albert Lea are the only teams to win the Big Nine title. OHS has won it 14 times including the last three. The Tigers won the other ten and have won the league title 29 times overall.
This season is a bit different as each team has already suffered a conference defeat. Owatonna fell to Northfield 42-31 and Albert Lea dropped a 40--30 decision to Faribault. The Falcons, Raiders, and Rochester Mayo are each 4-0 in conference duals entering Thursday. Faribualt and Mayo will meet in Austin.
The loser of the Owatonna-Albert Lea match is out of the running for the title. The winner would need a little help to capture a share of the title.
OHS boys hockey hosts Century at 7 pm on Dudley Otto Rink at Four Seasons on Kat Kountry 105 FM and the Kat Kountry app. Each team is unbeaten in conference games and both receiving votes in the latest high school poll. The Panthers beat the Huskies by one goal twice last regular season then OHS upset Century in double overtime in the playoffs.
The teams will meet a second time later this season in Rochester. Thursday's game will be one piece in the Section 1AA puzzle. With both Lakeville squads, Farmington, and Hastings all having solid seasons, a home playoff game is at a premium.
The OHS gymnastics teams has battled through some injuries this season, yet they are still rated in the top 20 based on their score. Conference and section opponent Northfield is ranked higher. The teams square off Thursday in Farmington.