Huskies double up Summit, 6-3
VAIL – Yes, Summit, there really is a Shrine Pass Trophy. It’s just that the award, given to the winner of Battle Mountain-Summit hockey games, seems to be collecting dust on the west side of the pass.For the fifth year in a row – since the trophy’s inception in 2001 – the Huskies hung onto the marble slab with a 6-3 win over the Tigers Tuesday at Dobson Arena, completing a season sweep of Summit.While Huskies co-captain Casey Kleisinger gladly scooped up the prize, neither side was doing cartwheels after Tuesday’s game. The Huskies (9-2 in the conference and 11-6-1) have a big one against Machebeuf Saturday with Metro title implications. Meanwhile, Summit (5-12 and 3-8) is battling to stay ahead of Doherty and Coronado to snag a state-playoff spot.”Defensively, we were running around a little bit,” Huskies coach Gary Defina said. “We spent a little too much time in our zone today. We got away from our gameplan. We played down to their level. That’s the best way to put it. Then again, it was good enough to win.””There are not a lot of positives,” Summit coach Bryan Smith said. “Our club played three periods of terrible hockey. … It was a basic game of hockey. Neither one of the teams were any more talented than the other. They were two even teams and they outhustled us and skated harder than us. That’s why they won.”Heelan’s firstTuesday’s game at first looked like a replay of Battle Mountain’s 10-7 win at The Steve in Breckenridge last year. Both teams skated up and down the ice with very little opposition defensively.
Battle Mountain’s Jason Funk remained white hot with two first-period goals, the first assisted by Kyle Woods and the second by Kleisinger. Jake Motz and Jeff Montepare found the back of the net for the Tigers.But the big goal of the period, which finished with the Huskies leading, 3-2, came with 7:12 remaining.Huskies senior defenseman Matt Heelan ripped a shot from the right point that glanced off Summit goalie Corey Hancock’s right shoulder and in. For Heelan, it was the first goal of his high school career.”It was a little nerve-racking at first because it is my senior year and I haven’t scored a goal yet,” Heelan said. “I just worked hard and it came to me when I got the shot off.””He scored and we all came in together and he was like, ‘That’s my first goal,” Kleisinger said with a smile. “He got the game puck for the night.”No. 7 back in formBattle Mountain eventually settled down defensively, and the Huskies took control. The Huskies picked up a power play with 9:44 left in the middle stanza. Battle Mountain did everything but score on the advantage. Just after Summit returned to full strength, though, the Huskies’ Taylor Beairsto struck, courtesy of Barrett Chow and Kodi Wyatt.
Then came Kleisinger. With two games under his belt after a month’s absence, No. 7 ripped off two straight goals to ice the game.”The first two games were kind of a shock,” Kleisinger said. “I was kind of off of my game, but I’m starting to get back into the flow. Getting back with Derek (Byron), we’re working well together.”Alex Edwards wrapped the scoring for Summit which hosts Steamboat Friday.Quantum physicsAnd so Battle Mountain finishes the regular season Saturday with Machebeuf at 6:30 p.m. at Dobson. If the Huskies beat the Buffaloes, who won the first meeting of the season between the two teams, 4-3, earlier this season, there’ll be a three-way tie atop the Metro among Battle Mountain, Machebeuf and Pueblo County at 10-2.This will doubtless send waves through the galaxy which will disturb the serenity of the cosmos.If this comes to pass, by CHSAA rule, all three teams will be declared co-Metro champs. But there is a complicated process to determine who will get the conference’s automatic berth in the top three when it comes to state seeding for the playoffs.The first tiebreaker is head-to-head record. If Battle Mountain wins Saturday, all three teams will have 1-1 record against each other. Then it goes to goal differential among the three teams in their games against each other.
Pueblo County is plus-two, while Battle Mountain and Machebeuf are minus-one going into Saturday’s game. The Huskies need to beat the Buffaloes by three goals or more to grab the conference’s top seed.A three-goal win would invoke the fifth tiebreaker between Battle Mountain and Pueblo – most overtime games, which the Huskies would win, 2-1. Four goals or more would do it on goal differential.Got that?”We lost (to Machebeuf), 4-3. We had a 2-0 lead against them. We played well enough to beat them. We had a few bad breaks against them,” Defina said. “They had one lucky goal that bounced off a couple of guys on they way in. Now we’ve got our gunners back, so I think we’re going to be strong. We’re in our building, so we always are strong here.”She’s got the FunkNot only is Louise Funk on the cover of the paper today, but she also was the game’s announcer and she won Chuck-a-Puck. Enjoy your Bloomin’ Onion and shrimp at Outback, Louise. … Defina’s three stars: 1) Heelan, 2) Jason Funk and 3) Chow. … Welcome back: Former Huskies athletic director/coach/teacher Fred Koetteritz was back in town to watch his daughter Jackie play for the Tigers. Koetteritz is teaching social studies at Summit. And, yes, Penn. St. made the BCS. … Saturday is also Senior Night. The team will honor Chris Chase and Heelan.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14630 or firstname.lastname@example.org.