Tucker Morrow lifts Battle Mountain Huskies lax over Steamboat in 3OT
EDWARDS — “Could someone score a goal,” Battle Mountain lacrosse defender Jake Bukovich yelled imploringly at his teammates between the second and third overtime against Steamboat Springs on Friday, March 30.
Bukovich got his wish with 2:15 left in the third overtime as Mike Barrows fed Tucker Morrow and the Huskies edged the Sailors 5-4, in a marathon to take the early lead in the chase for the Western Conference crown.
“I thought we were going to be here all night,” Bukovich joked.
“That felt really good, especially against Steamboat,” Morrow said.
That is the first triple overtime game in Battle Mountain boys lacrosse history, which is in its 10th season. More immediately, the Huskies moved to 5-1 overall in 4-0 in the Western, ahead of Steamboat Springs (5-3, 3-1).
The sequel in the rivalry comes on May 5 in the last game of the regular season for both teams.
“Battle (Mountain)’s a good team,” Sailors coach Jay Lattimore said. “We knew it was going to be to the very last whistle, and we get to see them in the last game of the season. These guys worked hard. You can’t ask for anything more.”
While Lattimore clearly wanted his offense to get off more shots and do more with its possessions, the Huskies have been a stingy bunch. In six games and a few overtimes, the Huskies have allowed just 24 goals.
But some opponents are more equal than others, and holding Steamboat to four scores is an accomplishment.
“Super-gutsy performance by all of them,” Huskies coach Pat Doherty said. “Once again our defense played lights out. I can’t give them enough credit.”
It was just a matter of either the Huskies or the Sailors scoring a goal before sunrise.
Both teams were very deliberate in sudden-death overtime with the perfect, perhaps, being the enemy of the good with regard to shot selection.
Steamboat Springs dominated possession during the first four minutes, and went on the advantage when the Huskies’ Rick Cuny took a slashing penalty.
The Huskies killed that advantage and Battle Mountain goalie Conner Underwood followed with two big saves. To start the third overtime, Battle Mountain’s Charlie Morrow won the critical faceoff against the Sailors Macray Dillingham. After a mad scramble Tom Boyne came up with the ground ball, setting up the final possession.
It was no secret what the Huskies were trying to run — the wheel play. Both benches were yelling, “Wheel, wheel.”
And, after much trial and tribulation, Tucker Morrow delivered, sending Huskies fans home happy.
For the first six minutes, it looked like Steamboat was going to run the Huskies off the field. Bukovich had the assignment of covering the Sailors’ Davis Petersen (21 goals entering Friday’s game), who naturally scored 43 seconds into the game.
“He beat me the first time he got the ball,” Bukovich said. “But then after that, I got a lot of good help from my teammates, sliding. In the last part of the fourth quarter and overtime, I was just trying to prevent him from getting the ball.”
The Sailors’ Kieran Hohn gave his team a 2-0 lead with 8:36 left in the first, but the Huskies seemed to settle down. Battle Mountain wasn’t helped on the offensive side with Jeremy Sforzo out with a concussion sustained during Wednesday, March 28’s game against the Vail Mountain School.
On the other hand, the Huskies welcomed back senior middie Charlie Morrow. After Michael Barrows scored the first of his two goals, the Morrow brothers evened it at two — Charlie to Tucker.
Boyne to Charlie Morrow gave the Huskies a 3-2 lead at halftime.
Hahn notched his second goal in the third quarter, followed by Barrows. Steamboat’s Jacob Gilbertson tied it at four with 4:55 left in the third, and neither team would score until the third extra frame.
Steamboat hosts Summit County, on Tuesday, April 3, while the Huskies are off to Glenwood Springs on Wednesday, April 4.
Rita’s two closest peers have climbed the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak 21 times each, but both of them have retired from mountain climbing.