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Huskies go down at Dobson

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VAIL – All good things must come to an end.From Jan. 5, 2002, the program’s first game on home ice against Coronado until Friday’s win against Liberty, Battle Mountain hockey had never lost on home ice, posting an incredible mark of 38-0-2.No. 1-ranked Cheyenne Mountain ended that streak Saturday at Dobson with a 4-1 win over the Huskies.”You’re not going to stay unbeaten forever,” Huskies coach Gary Defina said. “That’s for sure. But that didn’t give them any championships. I’d rather lose one now to that team than lose to them later.”

The game was a lot closer than the score indicated. The Indians led 2-1 with 33 seconds left when the Cheyenne’s Alex Lofthus scored an empty-netter and added a breakaway goal to complete his hat trick. For Lofthus, it was a little slice of revenge after the Huskies eliminated Cheyenne, 5-1, in last year’s state semifinals.”It’s nice to tell you the truth,” he said. “It’s always fun beating the team that knocked you out last year.””It was good,” Indians coach Mike Provenzano said. “We lost to them twice last year. We lost to them in the last minute of the game in the Springs. We never brought it up about last year. We’re concerned about it. They’re a bunch of different guys. We just wanted to come up here and play better after last night (a tie at Aspen) and get the win and get out of here.”A faceoff and a deflection

Cheyenne (10-0-1) won the game by doing the little things a good team must do to beat another good squad. After a scoreless first period, the Indians scored just nine seconds into the middle stanza off the opening faceoff as David Rogers fed Lofthus.”We do that play off the faceoff a lot. I come around,” Lofthus said. “My center tries to wind it back and we just go on a 2-on-1 and luckily enough it worked that time.”This was still a tight game going into the third. Cheyenne’s Steven Clinton fired a shot that Rob Naughton deftly deflected into the net for a 2-0 lead.Huskies goalie Foster Fox, who had no chance on that shot, nevertheless played one of his best games of the year, bolstered by a strong defensive effort.”We played pretty well defensively,” Defina said. “Foster played his good game. He’s getting better all the time. It’s tough to see a game like that when we played them step for step the vast majority of the game and a couple of breakdowns on faceoffs really cost us.”

Derek Byron breathed some life into the Huskies with 4:30 to go with an absolute blast that halved the Indians’ lead. But Cheyenne goalie Nick Robertson was rock solid the rest of the way.Defina’s three starts for the game were 1) Lofthus, 2) Fox and 3) Robertson.Battle Mountain, 6-4 overall and 4-1 in the Metro, heads to Palmer Saturday.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14630 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado


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