By Nick Gerhardt
Aiden Emerich’s goal 12 seconds into overtime lifted Rochester Century past Northfield 3-2 at Northfield Ice Arena in a game where the Panthers got outshot 36-20 and had just seven shots through two periods.
The loss for the Class A fifth-ranked Raiders (10-3, 4-1 Big 9) snapped a six-game winning streak and complicated a path toward a second straight conference title. Rochester Century (7-6, 6-0 Big 9) remained atop the conference with the win and holds 18 points while Rochester Mayo sits in second place with 14 points and Northfield remains third with 12 points. Northfield and Rochester Century will meet again Feb. 9 in Rochester.
The Raiders failed to find any rhythm in the first period after taking four penalties and three more later in the game. Despite the early troubles, Northfield had an opportunity to grab a lead with a penalty shot with 2 minutes, 44 seconds to play in the first period. Panthers sophomore goaltender Kyle Lappi stopped Raiders junior center Jake Geiger on his try. The Raiders outshot Rochester Century 13-3 in the period.
The Panthers finally took advantage of their power-play chances by cashing in during a 5-on-3 power play when junior defenseman Brody Josselyn’s shot from the point made it through traffic into the net at 11:57 of the second period with assist from senior forward Blake Kanz and senior forward Jack Ottman for a 1-0 lead.
Northfield responded with 2:35 left in the period when junior winger Andrew Winter collected a puck and scored from the left circle with an assist from junior winger Kam Kaiser to tie the game 1-1.
Geiger made good on another shot just 29 seconds into the third period to put the Raiders up 2-1, but a penalty midway through the third period turned a Northfield power play into a 4-on-4 situation where Emerich scored the game-tying goal with 6:53 left to play.
Raiders senior goalie Keaton Walock, who had 16 saves, made a stop on a Rochester Century breakaway with 6:18 left to play to keep it that way and help force overtime in a wild third period that saw the teams combine for 28 shots — more than the teams had combined through two periods.
Northfield will get a chance to bounce back Monday but it will come against second-place Rochester Mayo in Rochester.