Huskies hockey takes out Cheyenne
COLORADO SPRINGS ” This is officially starting to get serious for Battle Mountain hockey.
Wins over the likes of Coronado and Liberty are important, but the Huskies measure themselves in the end against the elite teams in the state. The Huskies got their first big test of the second half of the season out of the way, winning on the road at Cheyenne Mountain, 4-3, Saturday afternoon.
“I think it’s a statement game,” sophomore Connor Tedstrom said. “We haven’t had the strongest schedule the last two weeks, so coming in here and beating Cheyenne is a big. Hopefully, we can keep winning the next couple of weeks.”
Making the win all the more meaningful was that Battle Mountain was without blueliners Jonny and McKenzie Stevens on defense because of a family situation.
“It’s definitely a big win for our confidence,” Huskies coach Gary Defina said. “It was our first big road matchup, and we took it to them. Jonny called us a second ago and he’s all fired up.”
The Indians had beaten Battle Mountain in the last two regular-season meetings between the two teams. And given Cheyenne Mountain’s unquestioned pedigree in Colorado hockey ” the Indians have made the Frozen Four 32 consecutive years ” things didn’t look so good when the Huskies fell behind, 2-0, while on the wrong end of a 5-on-3 situation.
“We told them on the bench to keep their composure,” Defina said. “It was only five minutes into the game when we got the penalties. There was plenty of game left. We just wanted to get those pucks in deep, start banging on them and rolling three lines.”
Battle Mountain started the comeback when Jake Lammert dug the puck out of the corner and got it to Ryan Maddux behind the Indians’ net. Maddux hit a streaking Barrett Chow perfectly to halve the lead. Gustav Philipson and Codi Kleisinger fed Kodi Wyatt to tie the game going into the first intermission.
Battle Mountain took control in the middle stanza. Tedstrom got the Huskies’ third goal going with a nice up-ice pass to Sam Sterling. Sterling sent Jordy Coffey into the Indians’ end all alone and Coffey did the rest.
The Huskies got what was some much-needed insurance when Philipson blasted one from the point. Kleisinger positioned himself perfectly for the rebound and a 4-2 lead.
Without the Stevens’ twins, Battle Mountain was short-handed on defense. Defina brought back forward Taylor Beairsto to the blueline and the move paid dividends.
“Our whole defensive squad played well,” Tedstrom said. “We made short shifts and played hard while we were out there. We really stepped it up.”
Kalen Burnett got the win in net for Battle Mountain (9-2 overall and 4-0 in the Pikes Conference). Defina’s three stars for the game were: 1) Tedstrom, 2) Beairsto and 3) Philipson.
The Huskies return home Friday and Saturday for games against Palmer and Pueblo, respectively. Both games start at 6 p.m.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com.