Battle Mountain hockey tops Columbine, 6-4
Huskies close in on playoffs
VAIL — Attaboy, Alex.
Battle Mountain’s Alex Parliament, on a helper from Steven Dent with 6:35 left in the game, helped lift Huskies hockey to a 6-4 win over Columbine on Wednesday night at Vail’s Dobson Ice Arena.
The Huskies iced it with an empty-net goal from Joey Beveridge with 38 seconds left.
All in all, it was a satisfactory ending to an otherwise heart-stopping evening.
“I think we showed a lot of grit,” Huskies coach Derek Byron said. “Penalties have been a problem. It’s something we need to fix. But battling back twice was great.”
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The Huskies had to rally from a 1-0 deficit and then again when the game was tied at four during the third period.
The Huskies seemed to be cruising during the second period, leading 4-1, courtesy of two five-on-three goals.
The five-on-three can be a fickle mistress.
A team’s got to score in those situations. If they don’t, hockey karma dictates they will pay. Thus, even though you’ve got two more skaters on the ice, it’s a pressure situation.
Up 2-1 during the second period, the Huskies were gifted a full two minutes of five-on-three and didn’t capitalize, an ominous development.
“It gets frustrating, more than anything,” Byron said. “But give them credit. They stuck with the power play. They moved the puck well and did the job.”
The visiting Rebels were quite generous, keeping it a party in the sin bin. On Battle Mountain’s second 5-on-3, Luke Grimaldi to Carson Dietz — his second goal of the game — did the trick.
The Huskies continued the five-on-three action as Parker Nash lit the lamp, courtesy of Dietz and Beveridge.
Battle Mountain, however, could not stand prosperity and started taking penalties at a ridiculous pace, including allowing Columbine to erase a 4-1 gap and its own five-on-three score, allowing the Rebels to tie it at 4.
Battle Mountain (9-7-2) entered Wednesday’s game ranked No. 14 in the all-powerful ratings-percentage index. Twenty-four teams make the playoffs, with the top eight getting a bye through the first round.
If the Huskies can stay in the top 16 — and they host Crested Butte on Friday night to close the regular season — they would be home next week for the playoffs.