Century Escapes Owatonna with One-Goal Win
Rochester Century got out of the Four Seasons Centre with a back-and-forth 6-5 win over Owatonna Thursday, the fourth straight one-goal decision in the rivalry. A packed arena rode an emotional roller coaster as the Huskies dug themselves into a hole but kept climbing out. The wild finish included the squads trading special teams goals in the final minute.
The teams skated to a 1-1 deadlock after the first. OHS broke through on a rebound goal by Collin Pederson for his tenth of the season. Zach Kubicek took the initial shot to get the assist at 13:56. Century tied it less than a minute later as Joey Malugani snapped off a sharp shot from the top of the left circle. The shots were also even after the opening frame at 7-7.
A couple of lapses by the Huskies early in the second period allowed Century to grab a 3-1 lead just 1:14 into the middle period on goals by Lyncoln Bielenberg-Howarth and Isaiah Huber. The teams traded goals the rest of the way.
Owatonna's Dom Valento cashed in on a 3-on-1 rush at 11:30 to make it 3-2 with the first of his three goals. The Panthers quieted the crowd with a goal by Aidan Swee with only 12 seconds to go to second intermission. The marker came right after the Huskies killed off a Century power play.
Kubicek scored his 11th goal of the season at 5:01 of the third to bring Owatonna within 4-3. Century answered five minutes later on Huber's second of the night and led 5-3 at 10:12.
The final two minutes featured three goals.
Valento tucked a backhand shot under the cross bar off a feed from Kubicek at 15:08. The Huskies went on the power play at 15:51. With Owatonna going without a goalie for a 6-on-4 skater advantage, Century's Matt Haun stole the puck and slipped it to Malugani who netted the shorthanded goal for a 6-4 lead at 16:02. Valento tipped in a puck for the hat trick from Taylor Bogen and Pederson at 16:13 to make it 6-5. And that's how it ended.
Huskies coach Josh Storm expressed his appreciation at the big crowd that turned out, "I thought the atmosphere in this building was the best I'd ever seen it. I thought that the town came out and supported us."
Regarding the game, Storm said, "I think we didn't play our style of hockey and I don't think we necessarily played hard enough to deserve to win tonight." Hear Storm's full interview on the AM 1390 KRFO Coaches Show Saturday morning at 9 am.
The Huskies out shot the Panthers 28-23. Owatonna will get a rematch February 6 at Graham Arena.
The Huskies (9-3 overall, 4-1 in the Big Nine) plays Mayo at Graham Arena Saturday, January 11 at 7:15 pm. Century improves to 11-2-1 and 6-0 in the conference. The Panthers are the two-time defending Big Nine champions. Click for latest conference standings.