CENTENNIAL | For roughly one shift, Saturday’s meeting of unbeaten ice hockey teams at Family Sports Center lived up to its billing.
But from the second shift on, Monarch dominated the rematch of last season’s state championship game with the Cherry Creek co-op team, as the Coyotes netted six goals in the first period and cruised to a 9-2 Foothills Conference victory.
Senior Daniel Rosales and junior Sam Harris scored back-to-back goals for the Bruins in the second period, but Monarch immediately followed that with a three-goal burst to gain a measure of revenge for its loss in last season’s state final.
Coach Jeff Mielnicki’s Cherry Creek team — a mix of players from all over the Cherry Creek School District and other Aurora schools — had its 16-game win streak stretching back to last season snapped and dropped to 11-1. The loss left Monarch (9-0), Regis Jesuit (11-0 after a 12-1 victory over Mullen) and Ralston Valley (11-0) as the only remaining unbeaten teams.
Monarch had scored 10 or more goals in five of its previous eight games and appeared on pace to hit double-digits again after a six-goal first period that included a hat trick from Jake Young and two goals from Andrew Pickner.
The Bruins made a switch in net going into the second period, with Kyle Englert (Grandview) taking over for besieged starter Scout Stalcup (Eaglecrest) and they managed to pull within four goals after back-to-back scores.
Rosales tallied on a pass from Harris and Harris then snuck a shot across the goal line less than two minutes later off assists from linemates Joe LoSasso (Rangeview) and Danny Taggart (Grandview) to make it a four-goal affair.
But the momentum lasted just 40 seconds, as Young netted his fourth goal of the contest, a shorthanded tally after Cherry Creek had just gotten a man advantage after the teams skated 4-on-4.
Drew Wagner and Mahito Henderson added goals for the Coyotes for a seven-goal edge that kept the clock running for the rest of the contest. The Bruins had a couple of other prime opportunities to score, but Monarch goalie Andrew Leblanc turned them away.
Monarch outshot Cherry Creek 34-14 and also was whistled for 12 penalties for a whopping 51 minutes in the box to just seven for 14 for the Bruins.
Cherry Creek — which won a 3-2 contest against Columbine Friday night — skates next against Resurrection Christian at 8 p.m. Jan. 29.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
MONARCH 9, CHERRY CREEK 2
Score by periods:
Monarch 6 3 0 — 9
Cherry Creek 0 2 0 — 2
First period: Monarch — Jake Young (Blake Bride) (power play), 5:46; Monarch — Young (Brendan VanHaute), 7:36; Monarch — Andrew Pickner (Bride, Mason Peterson), 8:57; Monarch — Young (VanHaute, Yuta Young), 14:50; Monarch — Pickner (Bride Wiener, Frankie Torrez), 17:08; Monarch — Connor Akerson, 17:28
Second period: Cherry Creek — Daniel Rosales (Sam Harris), 6:06; Cherry Creek — Harris (Joe LoSasso, Danny Taggart), 8:02; Monarch — Young (VanHaute) (shorthanded), 8:42; Monarch — Drew Wagner (Adam Tybor, Young), 11:18; Monarch — Mahito Henderson (Sam Hoffer, Gage Sealey), 14:45
Saves: Monarch — Andrew LeBlanc (14 shots on goal-12 saves); Cherry Creek — Scout Stalcup (20 shots on goal-14 saves); Kyle Englert (14 shots on goal-11 saves). Penalties: Monarch 12 for 51 minutes; Cherry Creek 7 for 14 minutes. Game misconduct: Monarch — Andrew Pickner 2 (unsportsmanlike conduct).