Huskies take care of business at Summit
SUMMIT COUNTY — On a frigid Tuesday evening, the Huskies came out hot on the road against the Summit County Tigers, winning 7-4, and, more importantly, setting up a showdown with Eagle Valley on Thursday in Edwards.
Battle Mountain (9-2, 7-1 in the Slope) scored three unanswered goals in the first seven minutes and five seconds of the game against Summit (5-4, 3-3), who were hoping to make the league a four-team race (keeping pace with Eagle Valley and Steamboat Springs sitting at two league losses).
And just how did the Huskies come out that strong?
“We don’t want to go into it in too much detail because we have readers at the western end of the valley,” said Battle Mountain coach David Cope, referring to Thursday’s rematch with the Devils.
The Huskies will be looking for redemption on their home turf against Eagle Valley after losing in double overtime earlier this year in Gypsum, 2-1.
“It’s a huge game on Thursday, for both teams,” Cope said, before heading to the heat on the team bus.
SUPERB FIRST HALF
Less than two minutes into the game against the Tigers, Tony Velasco connected with Creek Kamby on a 50-yard lob pass from a set piece that Kamby tapped in just before Tigers goalie Kyle Wertz got to him, giving the Huskies the 1-0 lead.
“We just wanted to put the ball on the ground and play our game,” Kamby said. “Away at Summit, we know it’s a hard place to play, so we just wanted to go in there with the attitude of we want to win this league.”
Five minutes later, the Huskies capitalized on a fast break with Juan Macias dishing it to Kamby on his left who sent it back across to Danny Barajas, who top shelved it for the 2-0 Huskies advantage.
Less than a minute later, and still less than 10 minutes into the game, Cody Bahan found an open Macias, who beautifully shot it from about 25 yards out up and over Wertz’s outstretched arm.
The Tigers stadium went from hyped to cold real quick, and the Huskies weren’t done building on their early 3-0 lead.
Macias was dropping dimes to his teammates all night, and after Kamby sent him a touch pass, Macias returned the favor, setting up Kamby for his second goal of the game 13 minutes into regulation.
Late in the first half, the Huskies found the back of the net again for a 5-0 lead. Wertz blocked a Bahan shot and a rebound by Kamby at the net, but the third time was the charm as Macias got the ball and put it past the goalie.
Summit added a goal at the end of the first half to make it 5-1 on a laser shot by Cole Catron from 35 yards out, sending it up and over Huskies goalie Alan Villegas, and breaking the shutout.
Huskies defenders Miles Joersz and Daniel Ortega helped lead an aggressive Huskies defense in the first half.
“I just thought we were so sharp in the first 20 minutes,” Cope said. “We were so fast, and we were moving. It was superb. That’s as well as you can play this sport.”
TALE OF TWO HALVES
The Tigers tried to get back in the game in the second half.
Macias found Brandon Rodriguez early in the second half for a one-step shot smoked from 25 yards out and the 6-1 Huskies lead.
Alfonso Zuno scored for the Tigers with about 20 minutes remaining on a shot that appeared to be deflected, flying high in the air before darting back down and into the net, making it 6-2.
Kamby then added his third goal minutes later, taking a hat trick with him on the bus ride home back to Eagle County.
Conor Craig connected with Cole Buller for the Tigers to make the score 7-3, an then with 10 minutes left, Craig scored himself on a rebound at the net, bringing the score to its final, 7-4.
And with the win, the Huskies can now start talking about the matchup looming with the Devils.
“This has been a big week,” Cope said. “We’ve had this week circled on our calendar, and it was really important that we didn’t look to Thursday before we got Tuesday out of the way.”
Battle Mountain’s only other loss this season has come at the hands of The Classical Academy, 6-0, on Sept. 16.
“We’re hitting our stride now,” Cope said. “We’ve been doing really well since we took a big loss to TCA, a top three team.”
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.