Column: MVL/Cathedral rivalry among the area’s best

One of the best — if not THE best sports rivalry game — in the area are the annual regular season boys’ basketball games between Minnesota Valley Lutheran and New Ulm Cathedral.

In their first meeting this season on January 6 at MVL, trying to find a seat for the varsity after 4:30 p.m. was near impossible.

And last Friday in the rematch at New Ulm Cathedral, looking for a place to sit during the C-squad contest [before the B-squad and then varsity games] was like trying to find sunshine here in Minnesota during our past gloomy January.

In both games, the crowds filled the gyms to capacity and more. Basketball fans who came after 6 p.m. for either game found themselves in the “standing-room only” portions of both gyms which meant under a basket or in the lobby near the ticket stand.

The one good thing is that at least you were near the concession stands but there were also long lines in both games.

While MVL came away with wins in each game, the players and coaches from both teams and all of the fans who were in attendance were the real winners Friday.

A double-overtime game that saw 14 lead changes and a chance for each team to win late.

The fans from New Ulm Cathedral standing with the MVL fans to acknowledge the Chargers’ Dunwa Omot’s 1,000th career point.

And after the game, players from both teams visiting and talking to each other after an intense game.

It is too bad that these two teams will not meet again this season in the playoffs as they are in different classes for the first time.

If they would have possibly met again, I know it would have been another great game.

STEEL STREAK CONTINUES: The New Ulm Steel’s 12-game winning streak that was extended with a three-goal third period is the longest in all of the NA3HL.

The win also clinches a playoff spot for the Steel, who have a comfortable 20-point lead over both Alexandria and Willmar.

The Steel have two regular season home games left when they host Willmar on Friday, February 21 and close out the regular season on Saturday, February 29.

Final roster cuts for postseason were made at 11:59 p.m. Monday night.

NEW ULM/SLEEPY EYE TEAMS RANKED: The New Ulm/Sleepy Eye PeeWee A hockey team is ranked 14th in Minnesota with the PeeWee B ranked 18th.

And remember that the Minnesota PeeWee B and Bantam B State Tournaments are going to be held at the New Ulm Civic Center the weekend of March 13-15.