Chow, Myers named All-Colorado
EAGLE-VAIL – Brad Myers, you just picked the wrong year to ring up 34 goals and 19 assists.In just about any other season in Colorado hockey, you’re the Player of the Year. But in a year with an embarrassment of riches for Battle Mountain hockey, his teammate Austin Chow (43 goals and 29 assists) was named today by the Rocky Mountain News as the 2005 Colorado State Player of the Year.Both were also named to the All-Colorado Team.”I’m sorry, man,” Chow joked with Myers Wednesday in the lobby at Battle Mountain. “That’s the thing, though, about our team. It wasn’t about the individuals. We weren’t competing against each other. We’re trying to win and that’s the bottom line.””No. No. I wasn’t thinking Player of the Year at all,” said Myers, shaking his head. “I didn’t even know what to expect this year. I just came in with, ‘Try my hardest and, hopefully, we’ll do well.’ Austin had a great year.”Both seniors had great years. Chow set a preseason goal of 50 points. He had 72 in just 23 games. Myers had compiled 25 goals and 16 assists in his first two varsity seasons. He more than doubled his career-point total.In 82 games in four years, Chow put up 117 goals and 95 assists. It’s safe to say that Chow leaves Battle Mountain as the school’s leading goal scorer. Myers finishes with 59 and 35 in three years.However you measure them, these are two spectacular players.
The forecast from some for Battle Mountain hockey in 2004-05 was dire. After graduating 11 seniors, the Huskies allegedly were not going to return to the elite status of the previous three seasons.All Battle Mountain did was go 22-0 on a march to the state-title game, where the team came up nine minutes away from the crown in a 2-0 loss to Air Academy. Though tears were shed then, this dynamic due knows what Battle Mountain did this season.”Things are in perspective for us,” Chow said. “Nobody thought we would have been contending for a state championship this year. It is pretty amazing to be 22-1, come through the whole regular season undefeated, stay undefeated in our league, stay undefeated at Dobson for four years straight. The truth is that it’s tough to win 23 in a row. We were one period short this year.””I think if someone told us we were 22-1 at the end of the season, I would not have believed them at all,” Myers said. “We lost 11 seniors last year and that was a huge loss. We weren’t expected to do that well, so the kids really had to work hard. People thought it was going to come for us because we had so much talent last year.”These two did work, but it was not easy early. Huskies coach Andy Hire broke up the ABA line of Chow, Myers and Alex Biegler. Chow and Biegler were joined by Evan Sherer.”It was tough in the beginning. It was different,” Chow said. “Alex, Brad and I just flowed and we were unstoppable. But when you look at the overall picture, it was the right thing to do.”It gave the Huskies two lines. Line change or not, most figured Chow would still have a big season. Throughout his career with the Vail Junior Hockey Association and Battle Mountain, he’s always been the big fish in the little pond.With no disrespect to Chow, it was how Myers responded that likely made the season. Myers was skating with two sophomores – Casey Kleisinger and Derek Byron – and didn’t know what to expect.”By the third or fourth game, I had chemistry with these kids,” said Myers, who scored 35 goals in 2004-05, if you count his tally for the soccer team last fall. “Casey and Byron got the job done. Getting points on the board is all we cared about. We got the job done on defense. Casey and Byron would sacrifice on blocked shots. I owe a lot of my success this year to those two guys. I really do.”
The third game of the season was against Cheyenne Mountain in December. The last time these two teams met, the Indians won the state title from the Huskies in double overtime in 2002. Appropriately, Myers and Chow fed Sherer for a 3-2 win with 1:20 to go.By no means was this a two-man team, but these two always seemed to pop up during the critical moments. In an exorcism of sorts, it was Myers who scored twice to beat Kent Denver which had eliminated the Huskies the previous two years in the state semis.Against Steamboat, it was Chow. Down 3-0, the Huskies rallied behind his hat trick, capped by a Chow goal with one second left in regulation. Against Air Academy during the regular season in a battle between the No. 1 and 2 teams in the state, Chow was in on all four goals in 4-3 win to ensure a 19-0 regular season.The two combined for nine points in the first two rounds of the playoffs, and then came Cheyenne Mountain in the semis. Chow exploded for four goals in a 5-1 win. The other goal? Myers, naturally.”We were losing, 1-0, and you could feel it,” Chow said. “Everybody in the building, everybody on our team and everyone in the stands was, ‘Oh my God, here we go again.’ I was like, ‘We are not going home today.'”
Both have similar college plans – business and hockey. Chow will be attending Princeton, where he will try to walk on with the Tigers. It’s going to be a whole new world for Chow in hockey. Instead of being the best player on his team as he has pretty much been during his entire career, he’s going to be competing against dominating, if not better players than himself for the first time.”It’s going to be extremely tough to walk on there,” he said. “But, I’ve talked to the coach. We’re trying to work something out, whether or not he pulls me from club (hockey). The thing is I’m totally satisfied with playing club, if that’s all. All I want to do is play hockey and have fun in college.”This is not to say that Chow won’t be cracking the books. He’s planning on entering the Operations Research and Financial Engineering Program, which will teach him the ins-and-outs of Wall Street finance.Myers hopes to attend Miami of Ohio to study business as well. Myers’ outgoing and gregarious personality suits him well to the field.”You deal with people. It’s a lot of fun,” Myers said. “Dealing with people is a great thing to do. I love the whole aspect of it. It’s easy for me.”Myers expects to play club in Ohio. After all, like Chow, hockey is in the blood and, like Chow, he’ll always remember his roots.”I’ll never forget the first time I skated out there onto a high school sheet of ice and seeing the student body out in the stands,” he said. “… I’ll miss the road trips. I’ll miss the kids. I’ll miss all my senior buddies who are going to different schools. As much as every morning you’re like, ‘I’ve got to go to school again,’ everyday you’re going to wake up again in 20 years and say, ‘I miss it.'”Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 614 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail Colorado