Huskies rip Devils, hope for playoffs
GYPSUM – Playoffs for Battle Mountain boys lacrosse?
It’s hard to figure, though the Huskies must have made believers out of the Devils, thumping Eagle Valley, 18-3, Tuesday afternoon at Hot Stuff Stadium.
At 8-3, the Huskies are on their way to another winning season, but will it result in a cherished invite to the postseason for the first time in school history?
Steamboat Springs beat Battle Mountain, 8-5, Friday, and will get the Mountain Conference’s automatic bid to the state tournament. After that, all are in murky waters.
If this were a college football BCS situation, teams like Regis and Kent Denver play in leagues like the SEC, while the Mountain Conference is a mid-major and the Huskies are essentially Boise State. Just like the blue-turf Broncos, the Huskies could end up with a nice looking record and not make the playoffs because the Mountain Conference isn’t considered a strong circuit yet.
The Huskies have beefed up their nonconference schedule with the aim of disproving the notion. Case in point, the Huskies are at Fort Collins Monday.
“That’s where we want our program to be,” said Christian Nichols, who had a hat trick Tuesday against the Devils. “That’s where it’s heading. Just to get those kind of games and to show the whole Denver area we can play with those teams is important.”
The Huskies went to Chatfield early this season and got pounded, 11-3, which may or may not help. Battle Mountain has definitely closed the gap against Steamboat, and the Sailors have played well out of conference.
The best playoff case the Huskies can make is playing well Monday at Fort Collins.
“It’s still our team goal for the season. We still have a chance,” Huskies coach Jerry Nichols said of the playoffs. “Fort Collins is ranked real strong in the state. If we have a strong showing with them, if we can eke out a win, it will be hard to ignore us.”
It was hard to ignore Battle Mountain Tuesday. The Huskies scored early and often in making it a season sweep. In addition to the Christian Nichols hat trick. Timmy Licciardi had five goals. Thomas Huzella and Cooper Perkins ripped the twine twice.
“We just came to get a good game in after the Steamboat game, come back and work on the little things like movement on the offense, ground balls,” Christian Nichols said. “We came out and did all that. I think we played well.”
And since he was getting ribbed by Chris Libertini for getting the postgame interview, Nichols added, “Chris Libertini played surprisingly well.”
The loss added to a an already frustrating season for Eagle Valley (3-10).
Eagle Valley hosts Glenwood Springs Thursday and finishes the season at Summit County April 24.
“I expect two wins,” Devils coach Ted Boddy said.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Huskies 5 3 7 2 – 18
Devils 1 0 0 2 – 3
Huskies scorers: Timmy Licciardi (5), Christian Nichols (3), Thomas Huzella (2), Cooper Perkins (2), Jesse Greve, Reeve Sanders, Jack Harty, Clayton Davis, Tony Clark, Sky Roetzel.
Devils scorers: Anders Blomquist, Daniel Vargas, Nick Briggs.
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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.