Mitchell down; two to go for Huskies
VAIL – It was not exactly a piece of art, but Saturday’s Battle Mountain-Mitchell hockey game was quite functional for the hosts at Dobson Arena.While not at the top of their stride, the Huskies came away with two precious points in the race for a share of the Metro title with a 5-1 win against the visiting Marauders.”We were a little flat tonight,” Huskies coach Gary Defina said. “We came out all right in the first, got a couple of goals right off the bat. We didn’t play our best game and we know it. They were saying at the end of the first period, even though they had a 3-0 lead, that they didn’t play very well. It was good enough against a bad team and we’ll take the win.”While the Huskies are thrilled to have Casey Kleisinger and Kyle Woods back after missing the month of January, their absence provided Defina and company to get a look at the team’s considerable young talent. Old blended with new Saturday as the Huskies had four different goal scorers.”At the beginning of the year, it was two guys (Kleisinger and Derek Byron),” Defina said. “It was a blessing in disguise, but in the last four weeks, we’ve been spreading out the scoring. Everybody’s getting involved. I had fourth-line, fifth-line guys playing hard.”Defina gave postgame props to the likes of Max Ward, Ryan Maddux and Todd Walker for doing the ever-important little things needed to get the win.
He’s got the FunkOne player who’s made a name for himself this year is Jason Funk. He staked the Huskies to a 2-0 led with the first two scores of the game. Kleisinger and Woods were credited with assists on those tallies.Lord Byron struck with 1:51 left in the first, courtesy of a feed from Coulter Somes.After Friday’s game, Defina said that Kodi Wyatt had “one of the strongest and most accurate shots on the team.” Not to disappoint his coach, Wyatt got his third goal in two games, this time on an assist from Barrett Chow.While Palmer’s Larry Lowry scored at the end of the second, Byron to Kleisinger in the final period ended things.
Battle Mountain goalie Erik Young got the win by stopping 18 of 19 Mitchell shots.Defina’s three stars of the game were: 1) Young, 2) Funk and 3) Maddux.Summit TuesdayFor those with older schedules, please note that the Huskies, in fact, have a home game Tuesday against Summit at 3:30 p.m. before Senior Night Saturday against Machebeuf.While the Huskies have traditionally dominated The Battle of Shrine Pass, Battle Mountain barely squeaked by the Tigers, 5-4, in overtime during the first weekend of the season.
“We played terribly that weekend,” Defina said. “We’ve always had a solid rivalry with them. The kids have always had a good rivalry with them. We’re going to come out to play, for sure. They’ve played well. They crushed Liberty (Friday), 7-1. The kids know they have to play better than today.””I think we know how they play and I think we can come out early,” Maddux said. “If we can figure out what they are going to do, I think we can get the upper hand on them.”Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14630, or email@example.com. Vail, Colorado