Battle Mountain tops Vail Mountain 7-3 | VailDaily.com

Battle Mountain tops Vail Mountain 7-3

Eagle Valley next for Huskies

Battle Mountain's Tom Boyne goes behind-the-back against the Vail Mountain School during the Huskies' 7-3 win over the Gore Rangers.
Rachel Zimmerman | Special to the Daily

Apparently, it’s win and you’re in.

That would be the consensus from Battle Mountain boys’ lacrosse. After a 7-3 win against Vail Mountain on Tuesday, the Huskies believe they need to win out to make the postseason.

The rating-percentage index seems to confirm that. Despite the win, the 5-7 Huskies are No. 21 in the rankings with only 16 teams making the dance.

“I’ve been looking at it a little bit, hoping that (we’re) going to go up and let us into the playoffs by the end of the year,” said senior Tucker Morrow, who scored twice against the Gore Rangers. “We have to win all of our games. Every game’s a big game.”

Battle Mountain goalie Conner Underwood goes up for the save against Vail Mountain on Tuesday in Edwards. The Huskies got the win and host Eagle Valley on Thursday. (Rachel Zimmerman | Special to the Daily)
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“100%. We have four games left (sic),” said Battle Mountain coach Connor Compton, whose team actually has three games left. “We need to win them all.”

And, that, ladies and germs, sets the stage for Thursday when Eagle Valley comes to town. Not only did the Devils beat the Huskies for the first time since 2009 last month in the first meeting between the rivals, but Eagle Valley (5-5) is holding on to No. 15, and needs to win to keep its playoff hopes alive.

Game time on Thursday is 5:30 p.m. in Edwards.

Quick start

Battle Mountain looked awfully sharp during the first quarter against VMS (3-9) with slick passing and speed leading to a 3-0 lead with two from Morrow and another from Baker Gentry.

Battle Mountain’s Jackson Kelly (10) and Vail Mountain’s Ian Hardenbergh battle for a ground ball during Tuesday game. The Huskies kept alive their playoff chances with a 7-3 victory. (Rachel Zimmerman | Special to the Daily)
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Of course, sustaining the performance of the first eight minutes would be super-human, but Battle Mountain did not score again until there was 8:18 left in the third quarter.

By all means, give credit to Gore Rangers goalie Matthew Gay, who was superb, but droughts like that will cost the Huskies against a team, say, like Eagle Valley.

In a way, Tuesday’s game summed up both teams seasons. The Huskies flashed a ton of talent but had lapses and mental mistakes which kept them from building their lead. VMS was competitive, yet couldn’t quite get over the hump.

“One game at a time. I think that’s how you have to treat it, no matter what your record is,” Gore Rangers coach Bobby Ecker said. “We’re young and we’re learning.”

VMS took advantage of the Huskies’ scoreless second period with a Carter Lange goal. Jayme Belyea, Jackson Kelly, and Tom Boyne all but iced the game with goals in the third for Battle Mountain.

Henry Hancock and Shane Cole scored late for Vail Mountain.

Guard No. 2

First off, Eagle Valley plays at Summit County today. It’s a safe bet the Huskies would like to see that go roughly 15 overtimes.

Any discussion of the Devils has to start with junior Philip Petersen who has 37 goals and 11 assists. No. 2 had six goals against the Huskies during their game in Gypsum, a 12-11 Eagle Valley victory.

Erich Petersen, No. 2’s freshman brother, tops the Devils in assists, so guarding the Petersen family along with Bergen Blomquist and Kenny Rindy, might be a good idea.

After the final whistle goes off, the Huskies and Gore Rangers exchange pleasantries. (Rachel Zimmerman | Special to the Daily)
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With a lot of siblings in both programs, the history of the rivalry is known. Between Eagle Valley’s two wins in 2009 and 2019, the Huskies had won 17 straight against their archrivals.

Eagle Valley would certainly like to stick a fork in Battle Mountain’s season, while also augmenting their own postseason chances. The Huskies, particularly their seniors, meanwhile likely never imagined the possibility of being swept by the Devils, which could happen on Thursday.