Chit, chat: Huskies crush Mitchell
So, to review. At Tuesday night’s Battle Mountain-Mitchell hockey game, which the Huskies won in a walk, 8-0, these were likely the three most discussed topics:
n What’s everybody reading these days?
n What are Austin Chow, Brad Myers and Nate Simon doing taking shifts on the blueline? P.J. Bevan at center? His wingman? Greg Garman?
n And, could we please, please get senior Jeff Savonen a goal?
“He’s our Rudy,” Huskies head coach Jade Kersey said, referring to Notre Dame’s Rudy Ruettiger.
Alas, there was no Hollywood-like ending for Savonen, though his teammates and coaches did everything and anything in the third period to get him his first high school goal. But, in the process, he earned the game puck, the No. 1 star from the coach and the respect of his teammates for all the work he puts in day-in and day-out for Battle Mountain.
“Jeff doesn’t get much (playing) time. He never complains. He’s always working hard. He’s probably one of the hardest workers we have on this team,” said Battle Mountain’s captain and newest pivot, Bevan.
“It’s not the guys who get on the scoreboard a lot who are necessarily the most important people on the team. It’s the character players and the grinders. It’s the guys who show up every day. That’s Jeff.”
After the Huskies put up a seven-spot in the first period and another goal in the second, the third period was pretty much devoted to getting Savonen a goal. The Huskies’ faithful cheered more loudly for Savonen’s scoring chances than goals scored earlier in the game. Kersey essentially double shifted Savonen like he would Bevan – at the blueline, not at center – during the a state-championship game.
“It’s my dream to see him scoring one because the kid, he comes every single day, and works his rear end off for us,” Kersey said. “You have so much respect for a guy like that, a guy who has the fortitude every single day, knowing that he’s probably not going to play. It doesn’t matter. He wants to be a part of the team.”
Savonen was visibly disappointed as the seconds wound down to zeros, clanking his stick against the ice in frustration. But, after the game, he appreciated the way his teammates went out of their way to get him on the board.
“It’s one of the greatest feelings you’ll ever have just knowing that you have the support everyone, just knowing that they’re there for you, trying their hearts out to help you get a goal,” he said.
Jason Chase, well, he does have the scoring touch, and it was on display early and often. He scored Battle Mountain’s first two goals on assists from Casey Kleisinger and Simon, in the first 82 seconds of the game.
“I had to get him off the ice in that first shift. I thought he was going get three in the first shift,” Kersey joked.
The hat trick, the fastest in Huskies’ history, came with 1:45 left in the first period, courtesy of Keith Denton.
“I came out hard. I just wanted to score, I guess,” Chase said. “Playoffs are coming up soon, so you don’t want to bring your tempo down to their level of play. You got to keep it up, so you can roll into the playoffs.”
In between, it was a Huskies’ scoring feast. Simon from Bevan and Denton with 11:59 made it 3-0. Howdy Tuthill to Max Miller – 4-0. Savonen to Derek Byron – 5-0. Simon to Denton – 6-0.
In the second, the Huskies started mixing it up.
Forwards played back on defense. The blueliners got their chance up front.
“I was have absolutely no idea what I’m doing as a forward,” Bevan laughed.
“Sometimes if you play defense, it gives you a better appreciation as to what your defensemen are doing for you,” Kersey said. “Also, sometimes playing a different position gives you a different perspective of what your teammates do.”
The Huskies (16-1 overall and 9-0 in the Metro) host Liberty in the regular season finale at Dobson. The puck drops at 7 p.m.
Huskies hockey fans are readers and, in an informal survey, author Dan Brown is a popular man at Dobson. His best-sellers “The DaVinci Code” and “Angels and Demons” are on the night stands of many a Battle Mountain fan. … Kersey’s three stars – 1) Savonen 2) Mitchell’s seniors and 3) Chase. … Kleisinger scored Battle Mountain’s lone goal in the second on an assist from Chow.