Chase’s hat trick keys Huskies win | VailDaily.com

Chase’s hat trick keys Huskies win

Speaking to Huskies forward Jason Chase after Saturday’s Battle Mountain-Pueblo hockey game, Dr. Bevan said, “You know what I said when I left to Martha (Dr. Bevan’s wife), “You know who’s going to breakout and score bunch of goals. Jason.’ Isn’t that amazing?”

Yes, it was. Chase rang up a hat trick and the Doc’s youngest son, P.J., added one of his own as the Huskies skated past the Hornets 4-1.

Chase capped his day with an empty-netter in the final seconds, but he probably didn’t see the puck slide into the net. That’s because he took a wicked hit from a Pueblo defender who sent Chase cart-wheeling in the air.

“I knew he was coming to hit me,” Chase said. “I just wanted to get to the puck before he did. I just tried to put it on the net. But that time when I was in the air, I knew it was in the net.”

“We got him out there at the very end of the game when I saw the net was empty. I knew he had two goals and we wanted him to get the hat trick,” Huskies coach Jade Kersey said. “He played such a fantastic game for us. We’ve been waiting for Jason to have a breakout game like that. He was the game-breaker today. He made the difference. I don’t usually like to acknowledge individual effort, but he was fantastic.”

Chase’s hat trick lifted the somewhat sluggish Huskies, who had a tough time hooking together some passes in the first two periods. Then again, Battle Mountain may be a third-period team. This weekend alone, four of Battle Mountain’s seven goals came in the final frame.

“I don’t know what it is. It takes us a little while to get going, I guess,” Chase said. “But I think the third period is a good period to be playing well.”

Kersey believes there’s more of an explanation.

“I just think our guys have an incredible will to win and that’s something that’s inherent to our players and that what makes them good,” the coach said. “I think that they constantly compete harder and they just keep coming at you. It must be a frustrating thing to play against.”

Pueblo seemed to be doing well early on. The Hornets took a 1-0 lead on goal from Zach Wilson. The captain answered in the second period for Battle Mountain. Bevan, P.J.,that is, scooped up a loose puck between the circles and rocketed his shot into the back of the net to tie the game. And, with that goal, the junior seems to be settling into a comfortable scoring groove.

“P.J.’s been such a valuable asset to us this year because I asked him to make some adjustments in his game and he’s done so,” Kersey said. “He’s starting to turn into a real special player. He just anchors our D back there. He logs more ice time than anybody on the team. I’m very appreciative of the way that he’s played such incredible leadership sacrificing points for the win.”

Then came the Jason Chase Show. He lit the lamp while the Huskies were shorthanded at the end of the second. On a breakaway down the left side, Chase faked the pass, which got Pueblo goalie Steven Briggs out of position. Chase then went to his right and backhanded the puck into the net.

With 5:19 left in the game, Brad Myers fed Chase on a nifty bang-bang play and a 3-1 lead, setting the stage for a hat trick.

Ice Chips: Kersey’s three stars? “Obviously, Chris Chase. … Or, I mean, Jason Chase. Chris was great too, but Jason was No. 1,” the coach said with a chuckle. No. 2 went to goalie Karl Eklund, who had 17 saves and the win. Bevan was star No. 3. … Alex Biegler had the assist on Chase’s third goal. … Schedule changes: Battle Mountain’s game at Liberty has been moved from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25. And for those with older schedules, there is no game on Saturday against Machebeuf. … Air time: KZYR will be broadcasting the following Huskies games on the radio: vs. Palmer (Friday); at Liberty (Jan. 25) and at Pueblo (Jan. 31).

Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at cfreud@vaildaily.com.