Huskies hockey chucks Liberty, 7-1
VAIL – The biggest drama of Friday night’s Battle Mountain-Liberty hockey game was the Chuck-A-Puck contest during the second intermission.For the record, Vail Mountaineers U-12 girls goalie Rylee McMillin won. “She’s got experience handling the puck,” joked Jerry Stevens, father of Battle Mountain blueliners, Jonny and McKenzie.Between runs of the Zamboni, the Huskies easily dispatched Liberty, 7-1. “I am pleased. There were a lot of good things, but a lot of things we need to work on, too,” Huskies coach Gary Defina said. “They’ve got to play better than that against Cheyenne tomorrow and they know it. Too many penalties, too many stupid penalties from not skating. But overall, you’ve got to be pleased with the outcome.”Cheyenne Mountain and Aspen tied, 4-4, Friday night. Battle Mountain opened the season with an 8-4 loss to the Skiers before ripping off four straight wins. Battle Mountain (4-1 in the Metro and 6-3 overall) hosts the Indians today at 11:45 a.m. at Dobson.
No contestBattle Mountain struck three times in the first 150 seconds of the game. Taylor Beairsto fed Derek Byron, who made a nice spin move to beat Liberty goalie Andrew Murillo. A minute later, Jonny Stevens fed Todd Walker for a 2-0 lead. With 12:33 left Sam Sterling made a beauty of pass to Jason Funk. Funk poked the puck into the left side of the net, and the Huskies were cruising.”We need to learn to play with emotion from the start of the game and when the game gets a little physical to keep our heads and start playing ice hockey,” said Liberty coach Jason White, whose team fell to 1-2 and 1-9. “The headhunting is out of line and we need to start putting shots on their net.”Battle Mountain’s a solid team. I give them a lot of credit. One thing I think we need to do is realize is the game starts when the puck hits the ice.”Garrett Lukken scored Liberty’s lone goal, but Ben Godec answered on an assist from Jake Lammert. That was the first of two for Godec on the evening.”It just feels good,” Godec said. “It’s just about winning the game. It’s not about how many goals are scored. It’s a team sport. Jake and Max (Ward) are just good linemates. They played hard the entire game. It’s fun to play with them.”
Shorties, anyone?Early in the second, the Huskies were down two men. No matter. Matt Heelan hit Andreas Apostal coming out of the sin bin. Apostal buried his breakaway to make it 5-1.Shorthanded again in the second, Battle Mountain looked like it was on a power play. Byron fed Beairsto from behind the net. In the third, Lammert to Ward to Godec finished it up.”They worked hard when they needed to,” Defina said. “(Liberty) is obviously struggling. These guys did what it took to beat that team.”Freshman Eric Young got his second straight start in goal and acquitted himself well with his second win. While Foster Fox will get the start today against the Indians, Young is enjoying getting some playing time.”This is my second start,” Young said. “I was a little nervous coming into it at home. The team came together, so we played a great game. This helps me out a lot. The team’s there for me to get the wins when we need to.”
Ice chipsDefina’s three stars were 1) Godec, 2) Young and 3) Ward. … Battle Mountain nearly had a third shart-handed goal, but Barrett Chow’s bid in the first period was waved off. … Cheyenne Mountain is 2-0-1 in the Mountain and 8-0-1 overall. The Indians will be looking to avenge a 5-1 loss to the Huskies in last year’s state semifinals.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14630 or email@example.com.Vail Colorado