Mayo goalie Nick Weick shows the poise of a champion, leads Spartans to Kiwanis title

Dec. 31—Nick Weick had no choice but to be patient last season.

Fortunately, that fits the Rochester Mayo boys hockey goaltender's personality.

"Nick is always ... I think I'm going to need some electrodes to get him to change," Mayo coach Matt Notermann said with a laugh. "He's a very calm, steady person and that's not going to change, and that's a good thing."

Weick played in eight games last season, behind then-senior Tate Cothern, who had the No. 1 job locked down. Weick followed the Spartans' succession plan perfectly, though, learning and growing over the past two seasons, then seizing the No. 1 goalie role this winter with Cothern having graduated and moved on to junior hockey.

Weick's poise under pressure is a big reason why Mayo is off to a 7-2-1 start to the season and is on an eight-game unbeaten streak. Weick has started nine of those 10 games, including Friday night, when he stopped 20 of the 21 shots he faced to lead the Spartans to a 4-1 victory against East Ridge in the championship game of the Kiwanis Festival Gold Division.

Weick played every minute in goal for Mayo this week — backstopping the Spartans to wins in three games in three days — and posted terrific numbers: a 3-0-0 record, a 2.00 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage.

"Nick could probably play five games a week," Notermann said. "He's one of those kids who's always been a really hard work and a great player. He patiently did his job last year, playing behind Tate.

"Now it's Nick's time to take command of our net and he's doing it. I'm really proud of the person he is, and he's really learning to be feisty and competitive."

For the season, Weick is 6-2-1 with a 3.04 GAA and .892 save percentage. The latter two stats are a product of a pair of lopsided losses to open the season against two of the top five-ranked teams in the state, No. 2 Minnetonka and No. 5 Chanhassen.

Weick said lessons he learned from those early season setbacks have helped him in recent weeks. Mayo hasn't lost since Chanhassen beat it on Nov. 26; the Spartans are 7-0-1 in their eight games since that day.

"I learned from those two games, just how to stay in the game," he said, "even when letting up goals as quickly as they came in both of those games, I had to stay in the game (mentally). I learned from that and (on Thursday), I let up two early ones, but knew I had to stay focused and in the game, and it paid off."

Weick was referring to Mayo's game on Day 2 of the Kiwanis Festival, in which the Spartans fell behind Fargo (N.D.) South 3-0 early in the second period, but battled back to win the game in overtime.

"Last season taught me just to always be ready," he said. "My parents and coaches all said 'you always have to be ready, so when you get your chance you can prove yourself.'"

He is doing exactly that this season. Since the loss to Chanhassen on Nov. 26, Weick is 6-0-1 with a 1.80 GAA and a .930 save percentage. Mayo allowed 15 total goals in those two losses. Since then, Weick has allowed a total of 13.

"I feel like all 13 of us seniors, or however many we have, we're all great leaders," Weick said. "We have been playing together forever and it's good to be playing together as a group. Being able to trust, especially my defensive corps and our forwards in our zone, I can do things that I come out of my comfort zone for and don't have to worry about what they're doing."

Weick is one of a handful of senior leaders who played key roles in Friday's championship game victory. Sam Jacobson scored a goal and assisted on Mayo's other three. Cohen Ruskell scored twice. Will Sexton added an empty-net goal late to seal the victory and the championship. And third-line forward Matthew Siems continues to excel at the things that don't show up in a box score.

"Losing those first two games of the year, that brought a fire to us," Weick said. "Now, winning this tournament, we know we have a great team and we know we can go far this year with this group."


East Ridge 0-0-1 — 1

Mayo 2-0-2 — 4

East Ridge: Grant Kohnen 1 goal. Goalie: Jack Hodgins 26 saves (27 shots).

Mayo: Will Sexton 1 goal; Ethan Dennis 1 assist; Ryan Dripps 1 assist; Sam Jacobson 1 goal, 3 assists; Cohen Ruskell 2 goals. Goalie: Nick Weick 20 saves (21 shots).