Eagle Valley lax makes it a sweep of Vail Mountain
Devils off to 3-1 start
EAST VAIL — Junior Bergen Blomquist knows Eagle Valley lacrosse.
He’s watched his older brothers, Anders and Finn, play — and lose.
Yes, the best Eagle Valley squad came back in 2013 when the Devils went 6-10, making their only postseason appearance in the program’s history as the sacrificial No. 16 seed.
Don’t look now, but Eagle Valley is 3-1. Yes, it’s early, yet Eagle Valley knocked off Battle Mountain last month for the first time since 2009 and after Wednesday’s 10-8 win at the Vail Mountain School
“It’s cool,” Bergen Blomquist said. “I’ve been around the program my whole life. I have two older brothers who have gone through it and saw them lose and lose. It’s just so great to get out there and start beating the teams that I saw them get destroyed by when I was a kid.”
Again, it’s early, but the Devils just have a different feel in 2019.
“I thought they rose to the occasion,” Devils coach Carter Baker said. “They didn’t have any games over spring break. We practiced all week and we came out on fire. We told them, ‘Just come out like you have something to prove.’”
Given that Eagle Valley has scores to settle with just about everyone in the Western Conference that should seem like a workable strategy.
The ball is orange for a reason
Because it’s required somewhere in the Vail Mountain School charter, it snowed during the first half on Wednesday. In near whiteout conditions, the Devils’ Phillip Petersen put up a hat trick because that’s what the junior does.
Blomquist added two and the Devils led 5-3 at the break.
Since teams are probably going to figure out that Petersen is a guy to mark, it was nice to see Eagle Valley spread out the scoring during the second half.
Keenan Collett, Corbin Wilson, and Kenny Rindy staked the Devils to an
Vail Mountain had a charge because, well, when Henry Hancock starts winning faceoffs the Gore Rangers can get on a roll, which they did as the game entered the fourth quarter. Ryan Cole, Drew Bolster, Connor Provencher and Bobby Bolyard all found the back of the net and the Devils were clinging to an 8-7 lead.
Petersen scored his fourth because that’s what he does and Collett added another to restore order.
Time to worry?
In some ways, Wednesday was a summary of Vail Mountain’s season. Freshmen like Bolster and Provencher (twice) scored, which is fantastic. The Gore Rangers were resilient and nearly came back, yet the full 48-minute effort wasn’t quite there.
“I think it’s one of those cases where we’re not playing a complete game,” VMS coach Bobby Ecker said. “It’s pieces of what we ant to see. Other parts, not so much. We’ve been struggling with that this year to find the complete game.”
Ironically, while Eagle Valley is only four games into its campaign, VMS has played nine of its 15 contests. While the Gore Rangers are 3-6 — and have six games to play their way into the playoff picture — they are 1-5 in games decided by two goals or fewer.
Vail Mountain hosts Evergreen on Friday — and it will snow — while Eagle Valley heads to Conifer on Monday. That starts a stretch of eight games in 18 days, a run which will likely go a good ways toward determining the Devils’ postseason fortunes.
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