Local hockey players headed to postseason events
It’s been more than a month since Battle Mountain hockey hung up the skates. The Vail Junior Hockey Association wrapped its season a little more than two weeks ago.
But by no means, is the hockey season over for the Huskies and Mountaineers.
Huskies Keith Denton, Jason Chase and Max Miller are off to the Chicago Showcase, which starts Tuesday and runs through the end of next week. In the Windy City, this trio of Huskies will play with all-stars from around the country in games and drills in front of a gaggle of junior and college scouts.
“It’s a major step for both Battle Mountain and Vail Junior Hockey,” said Jade Kersey, who coaches the Huskies and is the executive director of the VJHA. “It gives the kids the incentive to stay home and develop their skills with the high school and Vail Junior Hockey and still give them the opportunity to compete at a high level of hockey in the United States.”
All three were no-brainer selections for the honor. Denton and Chase tied as top scorers for the Huskies in 2003-04 along with Austin Chow – more on the Chows to follow.
Denton anchored the Huskies’ Smurf line with Chase and Nate Simon. Denton was an assistant captain for the Huskies and Kersey regularly called him “the smartest hockey player I’ve ever coached.” Denton was named all-state, honorable mention, racking up 19 goals and 19 assists this season.
Denton often teamed up with Chase, who rang up 15 goals and 23 assists, including a school-record six assists in the second round of the state playoffs against Liberty, In addition to his offensive prowess, Chase provided a formidable physical presence for Huskies. All that combine for all-state, second-team honors for the senior.
Miller goes to the Chicago Showcase as a junior, an added bonus. MIller, all-state honorable mention, quickly made his mark with the Huskies after transferring from Summit County. The Huskies’ third-line center had a 27-point season, and like Chase, is as tough as they come.
And make way for the ladies in Chicago. Jackie Koetteritz, daughter of Huskies athetics director Fred Koetteritz, also qualified for the Chicago Showcase. Jackie spent the winter playing for the Summit County boys high school hockey team as well as the Summit U-19s.
Koetteritz’s postseason itinerary also includes a stop in Salt Lake City, May 5-9, for the USA Hockey Rocky Mountain Regional Evaluation Camp. This is a meeting of the best hockey players by birth year from the nine-state Rocky Mountain region. Vail Junior Hockey qualified six players for Salt Lake at the state evaluation camp recently.
Austin Chow is no stranger to this event. Playing in the 1987 category, Chow was one of 15 players from the Rocky Mountain region to qualify for nationals last year. In 2003-04, he picked up right where he left off last year. The winger led the Huskies with 24 goals and made all-state second team.
Chow is joined in the 1987 contingent by Miller, goalie Mike Garman and Mike Testwuide. Koetteritz will be playing for the 1998s.
From the 1989s, MacKenzie Stevens will represent Vail. The defender had a very busy hockey season playing for the Vail Bantam A’s, the Vail U-19s and the Colorado Select AAA’s.
And proving that hockey is family affair in Eagle County, Barrett Chow, along with Niklas Porter will be playing in the 1990 division.
The top-15 players from each age group will advance to nationals in St. Cloud, Minn., July 11-18.