Bielski leads Rockies in senior game
Old habits die hard.
In Thursday1s practice for Saturday1s Colorado High School Senior All-Star game, former Battle Mountain coach Ken Bielski, who will be coaching one of the senior all-star squads, followed a familiar pattern.
3Coach Bielski immediately introduced everybody to the three-puck drill,² he joked.
Bielski will be leading the Rockies against the Spurs, who are coached by Kent Denver1s David Labbett. The puck drops at noon at the Air Force Academy. It1s all part of an all-star weekend, which begins tonight at a banquet where the league will hand out its postseason honors.
Given that the Huskies went 15-2-2 and finished second in the state, it1s not surprising that Battle Mountain will have a considerable presence in the festivities. In the senior game, Michael Medina will be playing with Bielski1s Rockies, while Ryan Gambrell will be suiting up for the Spurs.
With the familiar foes now on the same team, the atmosphere down in the Springs is fun.
3I introduced myself to all the guys and there were a couple I knew,² Bielski said. 3We had a good laugh or two and then we went out on the ice.²
Of course, it1s easier to laugh when some of these guy are on your own team for a change. Bielski will be coaching Machebeuf1s Wiley Dornseif, who led the state in scoring this season as well as goalies Will Bernstein of Kent Denver and Air Academy1s Wes Purslow. Bielski, who spent the season shuffling his goalies at Battle Mountain, will do the same in Saturday1s game. Bernstein will get the start and Purslow will play the second half.
3Will Bernstein has a very good attitude and is a very good kid, but let1s face it, we have the best goalie in Wes Purslow,² Bielski said. 3Will is a deserved member of the team, but Wes Purslow is a highlight film.²
Other familiar faces on the Rockies1 roster include Air Academy1s Kevin White, Aspen1s Sean Friedland, Tim Hamby of Cheyenne Mountain, Doherty1s Matt Beckman, Rich Trumpolt of Regis and Summit1s Taylor Janes.
The Spurs have an equally star-studded lineup. Labbett can call on his two charges in Steve Cook and Owen McMillan. He also has Aspen1s James Ibbotson, Cheyenne1s Todd Little, Coronado1s Todd Hollenbeck, Regis1 Joe Kaatz and a trio of Summit Tigers in Jay Katz, Kenny Thaemert and Chris Montepare.
While there was some joking at Thursday1s practice, expect things to get serious.
3They were saying, 3I thought we were going to be having fun here,1² Bielski said. 3I said, OLet me ask you a question … Which team has more fun, the team that wins or loses?1 They said that it1s the team that wins. Then we1re going to have more fun than they are.²
Bielski hopes to cycle everyone in at one point or another. But there is no mistaking that he would like to see the Rockies come out on top.
3I told them that we get to 10, 12 minutes left in the game, I1m not promising anything to anybody,² he said. 3If we work hard enough, the game can be far enough out of reach that we can just keep spinning the lines.²
Before that, though, is awards night. Tonight, the league will be announcing the all-rookie, the all-state and the all-senior team as well as coach of the year.