VAIL — Who were those guys in the white sweaters?
Battle Mountain hockey, theoretically, although we use the term loosely since this year’s edition is truly Team United Nations, looked flat on Saturday at Dobson Arena in a rather listless 2-1 loss to Chatfield.
“There was no jump or no spark,” Huskies coach Gary Defina said. “I don’t know what to say. Tonight, they didn’t play like they did last night. They played as individuals tonight, instead of as a team, and that’s why we lost. It’s plain and simple — in a lot of areas.”
What made it so stunning — or, maybe not — was the way the Huskies played on Friday night in a 3-1 loss to No. 3-ranked Monarch. Battle Mountain, which is actaully a composite of all four local schools, went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the state. Twenty-four hours later, the Huskies were a completely different team against previously 2-5 Chatfield.
One obvious issue is offense. Two goals in two nights to start the calendar year isn’t going to get it done. Noah Beairsto from Cole Caynoski with 10:54 left in the middle stanza evened the game at one, and broke a skid on the power play. Yet, that was it for the Huskies.
“It takes moving the puck and playing as a team,” Defina said. “There were too many guys trying to do it themselves, not having a purpose with their play and their shots. They didn’t want to pass the puck. Frustrating.”
While Battle Mountain fell to 4-3-1 overall and 1-2 in the Foothills Conference, it’s not quite tome for panic. It’s more a moment for urgency. The Huskies hit the road on Wednesday for Aspen. This is the conference game against the Skiers, whom Battle Mountain beat back in December. After Aspen, the Huskies head to perennial power Regis on Saturday.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 and email@example.com.