Huskies take it out on Pueblo
The Pueblo hockey team was just in the wrong place in the wrong time Saturday night.
To quote Mr. T, “Pity the fool” who had to face Battle Mountain after it blew a 3-1 lead Friday night against No. 1 Kent Denver in the final three minutes before losing in overtime, 4-3.
The Huskies took out all their anger on the helpless Hornets, winning their Metro Conference opener, 8-0, at Dobson Arena.
“I don’t know if a kid on this team slept because of (Friday) night,” Huskies captain P.J. Bevan said. “It was something that not only stayed with us after the game, but something that will stay with us for the season, which is probably a good thing. It will be a motivating factor.”
“I challenged the boys,” Huskies coach Jade Kersey said. “I said, “I’m going to find out who’s tough tonight.’ I define toughness by winning the race to the puck rather than letting the other guy go in and hit him. I wanted to see us win the race for the puck, and we won almost every race for the lose puck.”
And when that happens, the Huskies start to roll.
Jason Chase, who is playing in his own universe so far this season, started things by feathering a pass through the crease to a waiting Nate Simon for a 1-0 lead. Alex Biegler then sprung Max Miller, who followed with a spectacular individual effort for the second goal of the game.
In the second period, Beth Chow exhorted her son to shoot the puck and he did. Austin shot and Biegler jumped on the rebound – Huskies 3, Hornets 0.
Pueblo took a penalty with about 10 minutes left in the second, and it took all of nine seconds for Keith Denton and Brad Myers to feed Chow.
Four seconds later, Simon to Chase made it 5-0.
Talk about aggression therapy.
Battle Mountain’s five-goal second period continued with Denton lighting the lamp on a helper from Adam Weiss. Chase, who finished the evening with two goals and two assists, sent the Huskies into the second intermission with a 7-0 lead.
“I don’t think there’s been any question that Jason Chase is our most valuable player in the first part of the season,” Kersey said. “He’s just been Mr. Everything for us.”
Denton and Bevan had assists on Chase’s second goal . Chow finished the scoring in the third on an assist from Chase.
In a wonderful subplot Saturday night, freshman defenseman Andreas Apostol got his first start, skating the first shift with Bevan. With his father, Peter, who is ill, in the stands, Apostol went out and played a great game, earning Kersey’s first star and the game puck.
“I didn’t really expect to be the first player out there, but I was happy with the decision (Coach) made,” Apostol said. “I’m glad to make my dad happy. Max Miller gave me some good advice, just to take a deep breath before you go out. It relieves a lot of stress. It takes a lot off your back.”
“It’s an incredible testament to Andreas’ character, going through this difficult time right now,” Kersey said. “All our thoughts and prayers are with Peter in his battle right now. I know that Andreas is out there playing his heart out for his dad. You can’t ask for enough out of a kid in his first game. That was sensational.”
The Huskies (5-1) host Summit Friday at 8:15 p.m.
Ice Chips: Keeping Friday’s ghastly loss to Kent brief, Battle Mountain led 3-1 with three minutes left and was on the power play with a 3-2 lead in the final two minutes. Kent scored in OT on the power play. Under the category of “the glass is half full,” Battle Mountain beat Kent in the regular season and lost to the Sun Devils in the state semifinals. “Last year, they come up here and we beat them, 2-1, and they came back and beat us in the playoffs,” Kersey said. “We talked about it. We said, “Let’s hope history repeats itself.’ We lose early in the season and win late.” … Chase had two goals and an assist, while Chow had one of each against Kent. … Kersey’s three stars for the Kent game – 1) Chase 2) Chow, and 3) Biegler and Miller. … Three stars for Pueblo – 1) Apostol 2) the line of Matt Heelan, Weiss and Chris Chase, and 3) Jason Chase. Way to beat out your big brother, Chris.