Huskies finish Indians in OT, 5-4 in Vail
VAIL, Colorado ” This time, overtime worked out well for Battle Mountain hockey.
Tied 4-4 against Cheyenne Mountain with 3:04 left in the extra session Saturday at Dobson, the Huskies called a timeout just before going on a power play.
“It had been a long physical game up to that point and our top power-play unit, Geoff (Funk) Cody (Kleisinger) and Connor (Tedstrom) ” those guys were gassed. So we just wanted to call a timeout to give them a rest.
“We wanted just to get control and move it around. I told them, ‘You know how overtime is. Just get it to the net. You never know what is going to happen.'”
The Huskies made sure that there would be no repeat of last February’s double-overtime state-title loss to Regis, instead making some overtime magic of their own. The Huskies needed all of 15 seconds of the man-advantage as captain Geoff Funk blasted the game-winning goal to knock off long-time rival Cheyenne, 5-4.
“I’m stoked. That was a good goal to get,” Funk said. “We just had to make sure we got possession. We had to get into the zone. Mitch (Lammert) got possession of the puck, controlled it, got it with our D, using our umbrella, got it over to me. I was looking for something in front, but I just put a hard shot through (the goalie’s) five-hole.”
Dobson erupted as the Huskies sped out to pile all over Funk in celebration. And there’s a good vibe in the Battle Mountain locker room. After a 1-2 start up in Steamboat Springs in December, the Huskies have won six of their last seven and are 3-0 in the Peak Conference tied for first with Palmer.
Credit where it’s due
Mitch Lammert did not get an assist on Funk’s goal, but he made it happen. After the Huskies’ timeout, Cody Kleisinger lost the ensuing faceoff, but Lammert kept it in the zone and started the scoring sequence ” Jack Sunderland to Tedstrom to Funk.
Battle Mountain was in overtime against the Indians primarily because the Huskies put on an seemingly-endless parade to the penalty box to the tune of 10 whistles. Cheyenne obliged with two power-play goals in regulation.
Despite allowing two scores, the Huskies’ penalty-kill unit played well, including killing off Rudi Baldwin’s hooking penalty in overtime. And while Battle Mountain goalie Kalen Burnett had one of his poorer games in recent memory, the senior stood tall when his team needed him most with two superb saves on the aforementioned penalty kill.
The Huskies trailed 2-1, 3-2 and 4-3 before they got a power-play goal with 2:55 left in regulation. After Battle Mountain struggled to get the puck out of their own zone, Tedstrom took matters upon himself. He carried the puck all the way up the ice and fired a shot off an Indians defenseman. The rebound came right to Lammert, who was more than happy to slam it home.
Tedstrom continued his weekend-long offensive rampage with a goal and three assists against Cheyenne. He had another three assists Friday night in a 6-0 win against Fountain Valley.
Battle Mountain had five different goal-scorers Saturday night with Kleisinger, Baldwin, Tedstrom, Lammert and Funk.
With Cheyenne Mountain behind them, the Huskies have a huge week ahead. Battle Mountain is at Air Academy Friday and Pine Creek Saturday before returning home for Steamboat Springs Jan. 19.
“Anytime you beat Cheyenne Mountain, it’s a good measure of how you can compete the rest of the state,” Tedstrom said. “It shows our character, especially because of how young we are. When we’re down repeatedly, it’s a good sign to come back.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.