Huskies advance to Frozen Four
The Battle Mountain hockey team is going to the dance down in the Springs after a workmanlike 6-3 win over Pueblo Saturday afternoon in the second round of the state playoffs at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge.
The Huskies will face either Kent Denver Friday in one state semifinal, while Aspen takes on No. 1 Cheyenne Mountain in the other.
“We’re where we want to be,” Huskies coach Jade Kersey said. “We do feel good about it, but there’s still a lot more hockey to be played. We talked about it in the locker room and we agreed that we all still have more to give.”
Battle Mountain had swept two from Pueblo in Metro Conference play during the regular season and the Huskies had no intention of stopping that streak against the Hornets on Saturday.
Keith Denton put the Huskies up 1-0 when he poked in a Nathan Simon shot from the slot. Austin Chow, working from the corner, stuffed in a nice wraparound goal to give Battle Mountain a 2-0 advantage, going into the first intermission.
Chow struck again early in the second period, before Pueblo scored twice to make it interesting. Battle Mountain answered with a goal from Simon, who’s been on a scoring binge as of late.
Brad Myers followed by lighting the lamp and Jason Chase slammed the door shut on the Hornets with a beauty of a goal, sending the Huskies to Colorado Springs for the Frozen Four for the second time in as many years.
“We have things we have to work on,” Kersey said. “We did make some nice adjustments on our neutral-zone play, but we have to play to our strengths, which are speed and our tenacity with the puck. Next weekend, we are going to have to win races to the puck and battle with physical teams. We need to get mentally focused for that.”
Ice Chips: Kersey’s three stars: No. 1 – Simon; No. 2 – Chow and No. 3 – Pueblo’s senior players. … Eric Hansen got the nod for the second-straight game Saturday and responded with 25 saves and the win in net. … There have been no upsets yet in the playoffs. This year’s semifinalists – Cheyenne Mountain, Battle Mountain, Kent Denver and Aspen – were ranked in the top four in that order. … Saturday’s other scores: Aspen 6, Air Academy 1; Cheyenne Mountain 3, Pine Creek 0; Kent Denver 6, Regis 1. … Cheyenne Mountain and Aspen meet in the first semifinal Friday at 5:05 p.m., followed by the Huskies and Kent at 7:05 p.m. Both games are at the Air Force Academy.
Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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