Huskies hockey finishes job against Eagles
EAGLE — Boring. Nice and boring.
Back in December, Battle Mountain hockey led Pine Creek, 2-0, after two periods, but allowed two goals in the final minute of regulation before beating the Eagles, 3-2, in overtime.
In the rematch on Friday night at the Eagle Pool & Ice Rink, the Huskies led, 2-0, after two, and there was no drama. Battle Mountain stepped on the gas and won, 5-0.
“The game was the same,” Huskies coach Dennis Hextall said. “At the end of the second, we were talking about getting some quality shots from the slot. (The goalie) is very good on his glove hand. You’ve got to go blocker side or rebounds and scrambles and that worked out for us.”
Do tip the hat to Eagles goalie Wyatt Kiewicz. He stopped a staggering 62 of 67 shots. There were times he was flat-out brilliant, and Battle Mountain helped him a bit by going glove side or right into his chest.
But the Huskies (9-1-3 overall and 6-1-2 in the Peak) finally found a way. Tanner Caldarola lifted the lamp, courtesy of Robby Gruber, just 33 seconds into the final period. That was Caldarola’s second goal of the night. Meanwhile, Gruber was rampaging with one goal and three assists.
He fed Joey Beveridge for a 4-0 lead and Wyatt Alt capped it with seven seconds left in the period. Huskies keeper Declan Rooney had a relatively quiet night, getting the shutout, but did have a nice kick save in the third period.
“We had good energy this time,” assistant captain Zach Booth said. “The crowd was into it, and we played well. (The coaches) just told us we need to keep our head in the game and keep doing what we’re doing. Forecheck hard, shoot and score more goals.”
Let’s play two
Battle Mountain is tied for third in the Peak with Heritage, but still controls its destiny with regard to winning the conference. The Huskies are also appeasing the rating-percentage index and were No. 11 — 24 make the playoffs — before Friday night’s game.
But before everyone gets excited about hosting conference-leading Resurrection Christian next week, the Huskies are in the unusual situation of playing a doubleheader against Doherty today at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. in Eagle.
The Huskies were meant to play the Spartans back in December, but were snowed out.
“The whole thing is get to bed tonight because tomorrow’s going to be a long day,” Hextall said. “We need these points to get up to the top of our division. We have to win tomorrow.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
The Swiss skier became the seventh first-time winner in the Xfinity Birds of Prey FIS World Cup super-G on Friday at Beaver Creek.