Verratti gets 200th point as Vail Mountain holds off Eagle Valley, 12-9
VAIL — A win’s a win for Vail Mountain School, and a goal’s a goal for Luke Verratti.
Eagle Valley went toe-to-toe with the Gore Rangers on Tuesday in Vail, but the Western League leaders downed the Devils, 12-9. Verratti scored five goals and added one assist for the Gore Rangers, including his 200th career point.
“All I know is it’s 50 points a season for four years, and that’s ridiculous,” said Eagle Valley coach Boomer Devlin.
Verratti set up behind the net on VMS’ opening possession and made a run to the front. With one quick step, the senior found some space to shoot and slinged it into the bottom right of the net for his 200th point.
The personal stat is nice for Verratti, but the Gore Rangers (9-1, 6-0 Western League) are hoping to put something special together down the stretch.
“I think there’s always something for us to work on moving forward,” VMS coach Bobby Ecker said. “Eagle Valley played a heck of a game. I think they really wanted it.”
‘Look in his eyes’
The Gore Rangers jumped out to a quick 5-2 lead after the first quarter on Tuesday, but tough defense by the Devils stymied the VMS offense throughout the game.
“That was the best team defense we played all year,” Devlin said. “We’ve been working on it all year.”
Philip Peterson connected with Finn Blomquist through traffic late in the first half for the Devils, making the score 7-5 at the intermission. Kenny Rindy added his second goal of the game early in the third quarter, but the Gore Rangers went on a run to end the 3rd with a three goal lead, 10-7, capped off by a behind the back shot by Tyler Hancock.
“I saw Ty coming down and saw that look in his eyes that he wanted to spark the offense a little bit,” Verratti said. “He always gets a little foam in his mouth and he just stuck it, rejuvenating us.”
Hancock dominated the faceoffs, giving the Gore Rangers added possessions and setting up fast break goals.
The Gore Rangers are happy to have some of their skiers joining the team for the rest of the season. Burke Fancher and Kyle Negomir enjoyed their second game back with the lacrosse team, with Fancher rocking the stylish tie-dye cleats and Negomir netting a goal Tuesday.
The two local teams exchanged friendly well wishes following the game. The Devils (4-4, 2-3) host the Gore Rangers on April 29 for the regular season rematch. Up next, though, VMS has two weeks off before hosting Summit on April 27, and Eagle Valley is at Steamboat on Thursday.
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