Huskies knock out Palmer
VAIL, Colorado ” So much for the theory that Battle Mountain hockey is made up of a bunch of small, quick skaters who can’t mix it up.
“Not so much anymore,” Huskies defender Jonny Stevens said. “We’ve got some big guys.”
The Huskies showed they could rumble with the big boys against a much-improved Palmer team which brought the rough stuff in a 4-2 win Friday night at Dobson Arena.
“We responded,” Huskies coach Gary Defina said. “We’ve been doing dryland with coach (Tony) Karr, and the kids are getting stronger. They’re strong in the third period. Palmer had a few guys go down in the third period, and our guys didn’t. We’re doing the little things it takes.”
Battle Mountain took a 3-0 lead and fended off Palmer’s rally and physical play to move to 10-2 overall and 5-0 in the Peak Conference.
Maddux takes off
Senior forward Ryan Maddux had a big night for the Huskies, scoring the team’s first two goals. With 7:35 left in the first period, he took a rebound from linemate Gustav Philipson and stuffed it into the left side of the net for a 1-0 lead.
Jake Lammert helped Maddux into the Palmer end in the second period, and Maddux found himself all alone at the top of the slot. He took his time and ripped it over the left shoulder of Terrors goalie Jeff Wolfe.
“It’s great to have that much time, to be able to choose a spot and really let it go,” Maddux said. “You don’t, obviously, get many chances like that.”
It looked like Maddux got his hat trick in the second period when Connor Tedstrom whistled a shot from the point. The shot got redirected on its way to the back of the net.
“That would be wishful thinking,” Maddux joked. “I was close, looking to (tip it), but one of their kids did it for me.”
The Terrors (9-4, 5-2) did not go quietly, however. Palmer’s Josh Richards scored on the power play with 15 seconds left in the second. Tanner Gross scored with 6:05 left in the game and the Huskies were clinging to a 3-2 lead.
“We stopped pressuring them through the neutral zone,” Stevens said. “They were skating up and hitting our blueline. We were too far back and had bad gaps. It’s just bearing down and making the hits and keeping the pressure on.”
The Huskies did that, and got some insurance from Barrett Chow, who put it away on helpers from Maddux and Tedstrom.
“Barrett comes through at big times,” Defina said. “He digs down hard. He’ll run through the wall if we need him to. He’ll do whatever it takes to win. He always comes up with big goals at big times.”
Kalen Burnett got the win in goal. Defina’s three stars of the game were 1) Maddux, 2) Stevens and 3) Tedstrom.
Having had a physical affair against Palmer would put the Huskies in the right state of mind for Pueblo tonight at 6 at Dobson.
“They guys know what they have to do,” Defina said.” Pueblo’s got only about a .500 record but they beat Palmer, 2-1. They’re a similar team. They’re going to be banging. They’ve always been a hard-hitting team.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com.