Crested Butte takes down Huskies, 5-1
Can Battle Mountain get a wild card?
Get your rabbit’s foot out, Huskies hockey fans.
Battle Mountain lost the de facto Mountain Conference championship game to Crested Butte, 5-1, Tuesday night in Gunnison. The host Titans will represent the Mountain Conference in the Frozen Four.
Crested Butte dropped a three-spot on the Huskies during the first 17 minutes. Colm Piccaro struck for the Titans on the power play, followed by Rowan Piccaro and Joseph Stock.
The Huskies rallied briefly in the third period with a Scott Suhadolink goal with 12:33 left in the game to make it 3-1 before the Titans’ Braydon Duncan pushed the lead back to three goals. Rowan Piccaro got his second to ice the game.
Battle Mountain finishes the regular season at 9-2-1 overall and 3-1-1 in the Mountain Conference.
With just four making the postseason and the three conference champions automatically qualifying, the big subject of conversation during the next 48 hours is, “Do the Huskies make the playoffs as a wild card?”
Regular season play continues through Thursday and CHSAA will announce the field on Friday for the tournament to be held next week at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland.
According to the CHSAA bulletin, the wild-card team is determined by a combination of the maxpreps.com formula, CHSAANow.com Poll and rating-percentage index. Battle Mountain was ranked fourth in MaxPreps.com, third in the coaches’ poll and fourth in RPI before Tuesday’s game.
In theory, those numbers, were they to hold, would keep the Huskies in that wild-card spot. If they drop, Battle Mountain could be in trouble.
The thing Battle Mountain might have going for it is that it has played — and won — more games than other teams in contention for that at-large berth.
While that’s a plus, keep in mind that Kent Denver, No. 1 in the RPI, No. 3 Mullen and No. 5 Colorado Academy all play in the North Conference and have games remaining. One team will win the league and the automatic berth, while the two others will be competing with the Huskies for that fourth postseason spot.
Basketball teams eliminated
As always, it is an honor to be nominated, er, selected to the tournament. All three of Eagle County’s basketball teams were knocked out of the first round of their respective state tournaments on Tuesday night.
Not surprisingly, No. 2-ranked Green Mountain took care of No. 31 Battle Mountain girls basketball. 55-32, in the first round of the 4A tourney. The Huskies still did a terrific job under first-year-coach Jim Schuppler with an 8-6 record.
In Class 2A , Fowler squeaked by Vail Mountain, 37-34, ending a noteworthy chapter in Gore Rangers’ basketball. The VMS Class of 2021 leaves with a legacy, making the playoffs two years in a row for the first time in school history.
Wiggins took down Vail Christian, 59-48. Vail Christian’s first consolation prize is that the Saints do not have to travel to Holly for the next round of the playoffs. (Seriously, guys, look on a map. You’ll feel better.) On a serious note, the Saints did well to get into the playoffs with a young roster and bright days are ahead.