Huskies hockey finishes at 15-1
Bring on the second season.
Battle Mountain put a big, black-and-gold bow on the regular season with a 5-1 win at Mitchell Saturday afternoon. The Huskies finished the regular slate as Metro Conference champions with a perfect 10-0 mark and a 15-1 record overall.
“Anytime, you go 15-1, that’s a huge accomplishment, obviously,” Huskies coach Jade Kersey said. “But that was one season and we’ve completed it. Now, we have a new goal. It’s only going to get tougher from here on out.”
Yes, the playoffs are on the horizon. Yes, the Huskies were heavily favored to roll through the regular season. But they did it and – at least for the moment – deserve a chance to enjoy it.
“The guys have responded well all year,” Kersey said. “We had a couple of tight games where we had our backs to the all. But they managed to pull it out. They showed some resiliency. They have a great deal of character.”
Battle Mountain had no problems in its rematch with Mitchell Saturday. Having drubbed the Marauders 8-1 last weekend at Dobson, the Huskies picked up where they left off. Austin Chow, Jason Chase, Alex Biegler, Nathan Simon and P.J. Bevan all scored. Karl Eklund picked up the win between the pipes.
Chow got the first star, Chase the second and the rest of the team got No. 3 for “15-1,” said Kersey.
While the Huskies are done for the regular season, the rest of the state will be playing until Feb. 19. There will be a state-seeding meeting on Feb. 20, when the bracket will be filled out. The first- and second-round games are set for Feb. 21 and 22.
In theory, the Huskies at 15-1 should be in the running for the No. 1-seed in the field. Cheyenne Mountain is the only other team in the state with one loss and that was in conference play.
If logic prevails – and that’s a dangerous assumption when it comes to CHSAA – the Huskies should be No. 1 or No. 2. And, with that, should come playoff games at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge – instead of the Front Range – in the first two rounds.
The semifinals are Feb. 28 and the finals are set for March 1. The semis and finals are at the Air Force Academy.
The two-week layoff is a double-edged sword for Battle Mountain. The good news is that gives the Huskies a chance to rest up and heal their assorted nicks and bumps. On the other hand, there is the worry that the team could be rusty going into a single-elimination, playoff game, a worrisome prospect.
To that end, next weekend, the team will trade in Battle Mountain black and gold for Vail Mountaineers’ red, white and blue to compete in a holiday tournament at the University of Denver.
Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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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.