Huskies crush Cheyenne Mountain
COLORADO SPRINGS – Battle Mountain hockey’s game with Cheyenne Mountain in the state semifinals Friday even was something straight out of “The Sopranos.”Badda-bing. Badda-boom.After a listless first period, the Huskies exploded for three goals in the second, including two tallies in the span of nine seconds, on the way to a surprisingly easy 5-1 win over the Indians.”You could tell that they were a little bit nervous at that first 10 minutes of the (first) period and they fought through it,” Huskies coach Andy Hire said. “The team’s been here before and hasn’t been able to pull it through so these guys had some added pressure on them. They fought through it like they have all year. It’s something special that goes with this group. We’ve seen it all year.”Playing the role of Tony Soprano was Austin Chow who had his best game on Colorado high school hockey’s biggest stage, filling the net with four goals.”We just wanted to come out and play the best game we could,” Chow said. “We came out a little sluggish in the first period, turned it on and got one and started rolling as a team. It was a big team win tonight and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.””We didn’t keep Chow under control,” Indians coach Mike Provenzano said. “He came out and he was the difference in the game.”
The Huskies awakeBattle Mountain definitely had a case of nerves and did not look like a team which was 21-0 coming into Friday’s game. Cheyenne’s Ben Robinson scored with 10:23 left in the opening frame. Though the Huskies had their opportunities, the feeling among the team’s faithful was that of “Here we go again.”That all changed in the second. Chow took the phrase crashing into the net a little too literally with 11:30 remaining in the second. He took the pass from Alex Biegler and shot before being tripped up and crashing into Cheyenne goalie Michael Findlay.”The first goal was big. It was definitely a goal,” Hire said. “We were just happy that the referees did a great job on making the call. Once you get the momentum going, you’ve got to keep it going. This team gets so much adrenaline going, the more momentum the better.”Chow said the team wasn’t too concerned about being down 1-0 during the first intermission.”We just had to play our hockey,” he said. “We knew we could do it.”
‘The coffin’Cheyenne found that out the hard way. Evan Sherer to Chow at 6:37 left gave the Huskies the lead for good at 2-1. Before the World Arena’s P.A. announcer could blurt out the Huskies goal, Brad Myers lit the lamp, courtesy of Barrett Chow and Casey Kleisinger, nine seconds later.”I was talking to (Austin) Chow in the locker room,” Myers said. “He said that when he scored (Battle Mountain’s second goal) that put them in the coffin and that when I scored it sealed it shut. That demolished their spirits.”Provenzano agreed.”That was a big momentum killer for us,” he said. “I want to give them credit. They came in and did a nice job.”As if to hammer the point home, the Huskies started the third with a highlight-reel goal. Defenseman Coulter Somes gave Biegler and Chow a 2-on-1. Biegler threaded a gorgeous pass that hit the tape on Chow’s stick for the one-timer.
“We just came down,” Chow said. “I passed it to Biegs. We were on a 2-on-1. He faked the shot. The goalie went down. He slid it over to me. Easy goal.”Whatever you say, Austin. Chow capped it with his fourth goal, an unassisted score.One moreAt 22-0, the Huskies have one more game tonight at 7:05 to make the dream come true.”We all know there’s one more,” Chow said. “This game’s over. That’s all we came here to do. It’s great to advance. Whether it’s 3-2, 2-1, 1-0 or 5-1, we got the job done tonight and we’re looking forward to tomorrow. We know it’s a new game tomorrow.”Vail, Colorado