The loud music emanating from the Faribault High School boys hockey locker room after Thursday’s game told the story. So too did the postgame Gatorade shower.
If that wasn’t enough, a cheer of “Big 9 Champs!” rang through the student section at Faribault Ice Arena as the third period wound down.
In the end, a convincing 8-0 win for the Falcons over Rochester Mayo gave FHS its first conference title in school history.
“It’s pretty special,” coach Brad Ryan said.
“It’s amazing,” senior captain George Richie said. “First time ever, Big 9 champs, it’s a good feeling.”
The Falcons share the title with Rochester Century, but beat the Panthers in a 6-5 overtime thriller.
“That was one of our goals this year, so we finally got it done,” senior captain Bo Putrah said. “Now we have a goal to get to the state tournament.”
Sean Lipinski scored a hat trick, Richie notched five points and Putrah collected his 100th career point in a game that the Falcons dominated from the start.
It was Richie’s goal just 1:47 into the opening period that would ultimately be the game-winner. Lipinski scored the first of his three goals on a short-handed breakaway to put FHS up 2-0, and Ryan Dwyer made it 3-0 at the 9:13 mark of the first.
The rout was on, and the Big 9 title was within reach.
“Everyone stepped up,” Putrah said. “We didn’t goals just from a few people. It was from everyone. Everyone contributed.”
Faribault scored two more goals in the second and three more in the third, making sure there was no doubt in this one. Goaltender Wyatt Andreas earned the shutout, stopping all 15 shots he faced.
After the win, the Falcons skated over to the student section. On this night, everyone wanted to join in on the celebration.
“I feel happy for those kids,” Ryan said. “They’re the ones out there putting the puck in the back of the net. They’re the ones that got out there and won the Big 9.”