Overrated (not) Huskies dump Regis
Credit for Battle Mountain hockey’s fourth goal against Regis Wednesday originally went to P.J. Bevan.
Bevan and Jason Chase immediately skated over to the scorer’s table to correct the ruling. It was freshman Derek Byron’s first high school goal.
And, that was about the most dramatic moment in Battle Mountain’s 6-0 thumping of Regis, who handed Battle Mountain its only regular season loss last season.
“Last year, I think (Regis) called (Battle Mountain) overrated,” said Huskies forward Max Miller, who had two goals against the Raiders. “We wanted to show these kids we weren’t overrated, that last year was just a fluke, and that we can stick it to them.”
The Huskies stuck it to them, starting with Chase, who was hitting just about everything red that was moving. In addition to getting under the skins of the Raiders, he scored the game’s first goal.
Chase took the puck from the blueline, moved up to the slot and roofed it past Regis goalie Chris Waters.
“Jason was great today,” Huskies coach Jade Kersey said. “He played an awesome hockey game. He was dropping down and blocking shots, doing all the little things. He was great tonight, no question. I thought he was our best player.”
That was all for Battle Mountain in a sluggish first period, but the Huskies turned it up a notch in the second, scoring three goals in the period’s first six minutes. Brad Myers found Austin Chow and Chow ripped one from the left circle into the short side of the net for a 2-0 lead.
MIller scored his first when Keith Denton was cycling behind the net. Miller streaked into the slot and slammed Denton’s pass into the back of the net. Greg Garman also got an assist on that goal.
Seconds later, Byron got his moment. Chase started a breakaway, which had Nate Simon and Byron zooming into the Raiders’ end. On the right side, Simon patiently waited Waters out before flicking it to Byron, who had the open net.
“It’s pretty exciting when you’re going down the ice and you’re hoping he’s going to pass it to you,” Byron said. “I thought when Nate was coming down, I thought he was going to shoot it. But, he waited long and passed it right through the guy’s skates. I just finished it.”
And, after a little lobbying from Chase and Bevan, Byron got his puck, which he’s giving to his mom, Sue.
“I remember scoring my first goal when I first started playing junior hockey and it’s a big deal,” Kersey said. “Derek’s been having peaks and valleys in his season, which is to be expected of a freshman hockey player. Tonight was a great job for him to come out here and take advantage of his opportunity and we’re really happy for Derek.”
In the third, Miller scored his second goal – again from Denton – with the second assist going to Alex Biegler.
“It’s fun. When you play with good players like Keith Denton and Alex Biegler, you’re going to score,” Miller said. “Keith always has his head up and Alex is always in the right spot. So, they just fed me the puck and I put it home.”
Chow’s pretty good at that, too. Chase and Howdy Tuthill got the helpers on Chow’s second score, which finished matters.
At the other end of the ice, Karl Eklund was finishing a nice night. He recorded his second consecutive shutout, stopping 20 shots.
“Early on, Karl came up big,” Kersey said. “The thing is when we needed him, he was there and that’s what you need out of a goalie. Sometimes a goalie has got to make a save he’s not supposed to. Karl has the ability to do that.”
Ice Chips: Kersey’s three stars: 1) Chase, 2) Bevan and 3) Byron. … Battle Mountain was 1-for-3 with the advantage, while Regis was 0-for-3. … Waters had 25 saves on 31 shots. … The Huskies moved to 4-0 with the win. … Next up is a road game Friday at Kent Denver, a rematch of last year’s state semifinals, which the Sun Devils won, 4-1.
“I don’t think I really need to get the guys up for a game against Kent,” Kersey said. “If you can’t get up for Kent, you’re not going to get up for anybody. The guys are really excited about the opportunity to go down there and prove themselves against the No. 1-ranked team in the state.”
The puck drops at 8 p.m.
Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at email@example.com.