Lewis-Palmer showdown set
VAIL, Colorado ” While a lot of the attention this week has been on tonight’s showdown Lewis-Palmer, Battle Mountain hockey’s Barrett Chow needed no motivation for Friday night’s game against Air Academy.
Chow was one of four freshmen on the 2005 team that lost to the Kadets, 2-0, in the state finals. More to the point, Chow took the penalty that led to the Kadets’ game-winning goal in that game.
While the 2005 final was essentially a 1-0 game ” the Kadets added an empty-netter in the final seconds ” and there were tons of possible turning points, it’s safe to say that the sight of Air Academy sweaters does not produce warm and fuzzy memories for Chow.
The senior took it out on the Kadets Friday night scoring the first two goals in an important 4-0 win over Air Academy, setting up tonight’s Peak Conference battle.
“It feels good,” Chow said. “They took our state championship right from us. Just to get back at them any time feels good.”
“He’s one of the ones who was around freshman year when they lost the championship game,” Huskies coach Gary Defina Said. “We talked about it before the game ” Jonny (and) McKenzie (Stevens), Kodi (Wyatt) and Barrett were the four who were there. He came out flying. I knew he was going to have a big game against Air Academy.”
From the point?
Chow and the Huskies looked like they were on a mission during Friday’s first period. On a jail break, Air Academy goalie Charles Ruzkowski made two brilliant stops on Ryan Maddux and Jake Lammert, but the rebound got out to Chow who stuffed it home.
Chow’s second came a few minutes later, but from a rare spot ” the right point.
Chow’s better known for breakaways or goals from the slot, but he ripped one from the point for a 2-0 lead.
“It was just a wrist shot,” Chow said. “The goalie was down before I even shot it, so I put it upstairs.”
Connor Tedstrom was questionable for Friday’s game with a sore knee, but he was feeling good by the end of the first. Geoff Funk sprang Tedstrom into the zone and the big guy took it from there.
“I just got the puck in our zone,” Tedstrom said. “I saw the ice start to open up. I just skated it, and it worked out. I threw it on net and it went in.”
Battle Mountain seemed as a collective group to start thinking towards tonight’s game with the Rangers, but the Huskies had enough in the bank to move to 7-0 in the Peak Conference and 12-2 overall. Goalie Kalen Burnett made several solid saves for the win.
“We came out flying in the first period,” Defina said. “We did everything we wanted to. Second period wasn’t quite so good. I think we sat back more than we wanted to. We kind of refocused in the third period. We didn’t generate a lot of offense, but we played well with a lead.”
Defina’s three stars of the game were 1) Chow, 2) Tedstrom and 3) Burnett.
And so, we’re all set for the Mother of all Hockey Games, Part 17, tonight at 6 at Dobson. Lewis-Palmer is ranked No. 1 in the Rocky Mountain News poll, while Battle Mountain is No. 4.
Both the Huskies and Rangers are 7-0 in the Peak Conference with the rest of the pack at least two games back. In all likelihood, the winner of this game takes the Peak and likely a high seed into the postseason.
“It’s nice to have it at home,” Defina said. “This rink is intimidating for other teams. The altitude works in our favor. Lewis-Palmer, we heard, is bring a spirit-bus up, so they’re going to have a bunch of students up here making noise. So we hope to have Battle Mountain fans too.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com.
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