The Kadets are next for Battle Mountain |

The Kadets are next for Battle Mountain

Shane Macomber/Vail DailyBattle Mountain's Casey Kleisinger checks Cheyenne Mountain's Paul DeSandro into the boards during the Huskies' state semifinal game at the World Arena in Colorado Springs Friday night.

COLORADO SPRINGS – Tonight will be a rematch of the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the state.No. 2 Air Academy squeaked by a valiant Bishop Machebeuf team, 5-4, on a goal by Eddie Saxer with 4:04 left in the double overtime Friday night to advance to the finals against the No. 1 Huskies tonight at 7:05 at the World Arena.The Kadets led 4-0 in the second period, but sat on the lead. The Cinderella Buffaloes pounced and forced 12 minutes of extra hockey.Battle Mountain and Air Academy met Feb. 12 at the Eagle Ice Rink in the season finale for both teams. The Huskies jumped out to a 4-0 lead before the Kadets stormed back with three third-period goals in a 4-3 Battle Mountain win.”It’s going to be rematch,” Huskies coach Andy Hire said. “It’s pretty much the same team (as Cheyenne Mountain). They’re not as strong defensively, a little stronger offensively. The gameplan is not going to change that much compared to what we did tonight. It’s going to be a good game.”The Huskies (22-0) have never won a state title, while Air Academy (20-2) has two to its credit, the last one coming in 2000.

Huskies forward Evan Sherer gave the faithful a scare when he crashed into the end boards late in the third period. He lay on the ice for a minute and eventually left the ice under his own power. He has a sore left side, but he’s fine.”I was just skating, trying to beat him wide on the right side,” Sherer said. “Right when I was letting go of the puck is when he hit me. I was off balance at the start. I just braced for impact because I knew it was going to hurt. There’s nothing that will stop me from playing.”

When the Huskies were struggling in the first, goaltender Karl Eklund did an excellent job of keeping his team in the game. In all, he stopped 20 of 21 shots.”I felt great coming into this game,” he said. “I was feeling good about the angles and the board and the big rink. Getting scored on early is kind of a downer, but you just got to keep your head up and keep playing.”

Derek Byron has a minor hip injury and was replaced on the Brad Myers line by Barrett Chow. “Something’s a little off on his hip and we’re going to work with him, see if we can get his stride going a little bit,” Hire said. “Once he gets moving, he’s all right, but those first couple strides are tough for him. I give a lot of credit to Barrett. He filled in excellent. He has a little more size than Derek which helps. He made a great play sweeping to the net and got an assist on our third goal.”

OK, it wasn’t the hat trick Brad Myers wanted. He got whistled three times for two-minute minors and got comfy in the sin bin.”It’s roomy,” Myers joked. “I’ve got the water bottle. I’ve got Aaron, the bus driver, with me and we were talking. It was very nice.”

The Huskies bailed Myers and other offenders out nicely. Battle Mountain killed all five Cheyenne power plays. The Huskies were 0-for-2 with the advantage.Vail, Colorado

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