Huskies breeze in first round
But, if Battle Mountain hockey’s Nathan Simon had a buck for every post, every open net, every good opportunity that just rolled off his stick in the last two years, he’d be buying lunch for the entire team several times over.
No disrespect to Simon, whatsoever. He just hasn’t gotten the breaks.
But, after Friday night’s first-round state playoff game against Coronado, the Huskies might consider buying Simon lunch. The junior poured in a hat trick and captain P.J. Bevan added two more on the way to a 7-0 drubbing of the Cougars.
“He’s has to be very happy,” Huskies coach Jade Kersey said. “It’s nice to see him play his best hockey at the right time of the year. Probably, over the last five games or so, he’s been picking it up. Now he’s carrying it over to the playoffs.”
This was absolutely no contest from the beginning. The only thing slowing down Kersey’s crew Friday night was the snow on Interstate 70 on the way to the Stephen C. West Ice Arena. Steve Reid got it going early with a blast on a delayed Coronado penalty. Simon made it 2-0 with a sweet breakaway.
Simon then did his best Brad Myers imitation by being in the perfect position for a rebound of a Bevan shot from the point. Not to be left out, Austin Chow ripped the twine on a breakaway. The captain finished off the period with a rocket from the point.
That’s 5-0. Game over. Please do drive home safely – and that was a major concern with the snow Friday night.
“It wasn’t a pretty game to watch at times,” Kersey said. “I think Coronado was a little outgunned. But I think our guys were disciplined and I was happy with that.”
Of course, with two more periods to play, that gave Kersey a chance to roll four lines, keeping everyone’s legs fresh as well as getting the younger players some experience.
“I was happy to be able to do that,” Kersey said. “At times, during the playoffs, you’re going to have to shorten your bench. But, with the score as it was, we were able to get our younger players their first taste of playoff experience. We’re going to have a tougher opponent today so we were glad to get them a chance to get in.”
In the second, Bevan added another to his total on nifty passing from Alex Biegler and Howdy Tuthill. Simon capped off his hat trick late in the period.
With the win, Battle Mountain moves to 16-1 and will play Pueblo County today at 3:15 p.m. at the Steve.
But not before buying Nate some lunch. The rumor on the team bus Friday night is that Simon likes KFC.
Ice Chips: Kersey’s three stars: No. 1 – Simon; No. 2 – Bevan and No. 3 – Coronado’s seniors. … Huskies goalie Eric Hansen had a light night between the pipes, getting the win. … In other first-round action: Cheyenne Mountain 15 (not a typo), Mitchell 1; Pine Creek 4, Liberty 1; Aspen 2, Colorado Academy 0; Regis 1, Palmer 0.
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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