Huskies down Pueblo | VailDaily.com
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Huskies down Pueblo

VAIL – Battle Mountain hockey’s Derek Byron is a popular guy. After Friday night’s game against Pueblo, he was signing autographs for the tykes at Dobson Arena.”Last week, I was asked to sign a popcorn ball,” Byron said. “It was kind of weird. It was wrapped and kind of round-shaped. But it’s fun. We’re at the top of the peak in this valley for hockey, so it’s enjoyable.”Autographs for everyone were in order after Battle Mountain’s 4-1 win against the No. 2 Hornets. At 9-6-1, and more importantly 7-2 in the Metro, the Huskies can play their way into a three-way tie atop the conference with wins in their final three games, all of which will be played at Dobson Arena.”Division game, so that makes us 7-2. (Pueblo’s) 8-2,” Huskies coach Gary Defina said. “The two losses are the important thing. Now, we’ve got to beat Machebeuf (Feb. 11) and they’ll have two losses.”Before that, the Huskies must beat Mitchell today at 2 p.m. and Summit on Tuesday. And if the Huskies run the table, leaving Battle Mountain, Pueblo and Machebeuf at 10-2, Coach, will it require the NASA Supercomputer to break the tie?”It probably will,” Defina joked.The Huskies started their title bid with bookend goals from Kodi Wyatt and two in between from Byron.While the latter has been the team’s leading scorer this year, Byron seemed particularly energized by the return of his linemate Casey Kleisinger, who returned to action after a month’s absence. Kleisinger got the playmaker with three assists, two of which led to Byron’s goals.”We’ve been playing for a while, so we know where each other is, Byron said. “I don’t know. It’s just really nice to have him back.”Byron scored on a breakaway in the first period and on feeds from blueliner Jonny Stevens and Kleisinger in the second.Wyatt started things when Stevens threaded a nifty pass to him on the right side for a 1-0 lead.”Just an amazing play. I don’t even know what I did,” Wyatt said. “Great pass from Jonny, five-hole through the goalie’s legs. That was good.”Wyatt iced it with an unassisted tally late in the second.Defina split the first star between Byron and Wyatt. The third went to goalie Foster Fox who got the win for the Huskies in net.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14630 or cfreud@vaildaily.com. Vail, Colorado


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