Regis takes the crown in double OT
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado ” Three years ago after Battle Mountain hockey lost the state title to Air Academy, 2-0, Beth and Frank Chow essentially had to scrape their son Barrett, then a freshman despondent after that defeat, off the floor of the World Arena in Colorado Springs.
Saturday afternoon, after an equally, if not more agonizing 3-2 double-overtime loss to Regis in the state-championship game at World Arena, it was Barrett, now a senior, making sure Beth didn’t cry.
In the greater scheme, it was a victory on a day when the Huskies had yet another cruel ending to their sixth trip in seven years to the Frozen Four, and their third championship-game appearance.
Regis freshman Nick Davis scored with 4:55 left in double overtime on a floater that Huskies goalie Kalen Burnett, who was spectacular all postseason, probably wanted back. The shot gave Regis its first state title, and relegated Battle Mountain to bridesmaid status again.
“Before you go to bed, you think, ‘Maybe, I’ll score that game-winning goal in the state championship,'” Davis said. “And you never think it will come true, but it does. It’s great. My team got me here. I just had to do one thing to win it.”
It was a stunning end to a thrilling game. Ironically, it was a very familiar goal to the one that Regis’ Austin Miller scored in overtime of Thursday’s semifinal against Lewis-Palmer which sent the Raiders to Saturday’s final.
“The team we played against, they deserved to win the championship. We deserved to win the championship, and once again, it was a fortunate shot,” said Regis coach Dan Woodley, whose team finished with a 21-1-1record. “We did a better job of getting more pucks to the net today, and maged to outshoot them.
“My heart’s in my throat. I feel for the boys from Battle Mountain. They’re a fine team. They’re well-coached. They’re an excellent group of kids.”
“Hold your head high,” Chow said. “It was a lucky goal. It hit a couple of jerseys, nothing really solid. Kalen never got a lock on it. It was a hard bounce between his legs and that was it. It was a great season.
“We had a really great season. We still think we are the best team in the state.”
Bounces and breaks
There will doubtless be a lot of talk during the summer about Zambonis, no-calls and calls actually whistled. Battle Mountain coach Gary Defina wasn’t pleased that the ice was done after the first overtime, supposedly giving Regis a much-needed break in his opinion, instead of after the second extra frame.
Battle Mountain also wasn’t happy about Gustav Philipson taking a slash at the start of the second overtime without a call from the officials. Postgame moods weren’t improved when the Huskies Kodi Wyatt took a tripping penalty right after Philipson fell to the ice.
Battle Mountain killed off that penalty, but just seven seconds after it expired, Davis struck.
“What happened was Coach called my name,” he said. “He needed somebody to take one shift. I came on. My brother (Greg) gave me a good pass. I saw him driving to the net. I though maybe I could get it to hit some pad(s in front of the net). I saw it trickle in.
“I was astonished. Davey kept us in it, and I couldn’t thank him anymore, and our fans were outstanding. I’m just proud to be here.”
Davey would be Regis goalie David Nowicki, who stopped 21 of 23 Battle Mountain shots, including six during the first overtime.
“When you get to overtime, it’s just going to be a bounce,” Defina said. “Somebody’s going to get a break, and it’s going to go off somebody’s butt. That’s what we told them ” get pucks to the net. They got the bounce.”
Chow and Funk
Regis struck first in what became a marathon. Evan Lloyd took a rebound from teammate Nick Mohr and went top shelf on Burnett.
Battle Mountain answered with speed and superb passing in the second. Charlie Tedstrom feathered a gorgeous feed to Chow, who broke into the zone all alone against Nowicki. Chow buried his shot with 11:01 left in the period to pull the Huskies even.
“Charlie Tedstrom all the way,” Chow said. “I had to take Ryan (Maddux)’s place on the wing. Next thing you know, Charlie looked up. We saw each other and bam. I walked right around their defense and I could have fit a beach ball through that hole.”
In the third, Huskies forward Taylor Beairsto took a tripping penalty and got two extra minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct. Battle Mountain’s penalty-killing unit, simply superb all postseason, erased the 5-on-3, but Regis’ John Booren scored just as the Huskies returned to full strength.
With 6:36 left in regulation, it was Battle Mountain’s Geoff Funk with some magic. He slipped one by Mowicki from the top of the slot, tying the game at two.
“When Geoff Funke scored, I felt like he put it in the seniors’ hands,” Chow said. “i thanked him for giving us a shot.
“Geoff’s a good offensive player,” Defina said. “He had a lot of goals earlier in the year. I’ve been rotating guys on that line to get some balance. He stepped up right there. It was a good low shot, and that’s where we wanted to shoot on this goalie.”
But Nowicki was rock solid from there, and the Huskies found themselves with another second-place trophy, their third in seven years, after an outstanding 20-3 season.
Under the category of of what-if, both Battle Mountain’s Ryan Maddux and Jonny Stevens hit the post. On the other side of the ledger, Huskies defenseman Eric Davis cleared the puck out of Battle Mountain’s crease in the second period. Wyatt and blueliner Connor Tedstrom also cleared a beautiful Raiders’ scoring opportunity in the same period … Burnett was outstanding in goal. The junior stopped 29 of 32 shots and allowed a miserly five goals in four postseason games.
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