OMAHA, Neb. | The virtual mirror seasons of the Cherry Creek and Regis Jesuit ice hockey teams ended in the same result at the USA High School National Tournament.

The Cherry Creek team — which included players from several district high schools, including Cherokee Trail, Eaglecrest, Grandview, Overland and Smoky Hill — and Regis Jesuit posted 1-2 overall records at the annual tournament, which featured 32 teams from across the country. Neither team advanced out of pool play at the tournament, which ended with a team from Bethel Park, Pa., winning the championship on Sunday.

Both local teams, who qualified for the national tournament in the fall, both finished the winter season 17-4-1 and both lost in the state semifinals.

Coach Dan Woodley’s Regis Jesuit team won the tournament championship in 2012 and finished as the runner-up last season, but didn’t advance out of Pool B, which included a Providence Catholic (Ill.) team that lost to Bethel Park for the championship.

The Raiders lost to Peters Township (Pa.) 4-3 in overtime in their opener on March 26, then bounced back with a gritty 5-3 win over Orange Lutheran (Calif.) the next day. Providence Catholic outshot Regis Jesuit 35-18 in the final pool play game on its way to a 5-1 victory.

Jack O’Neil and Grant Johnson each tied for the team-high with two goals apiece for Regis Jesuit, while Logan Baca, Andre Dugas, John Kane, Jack Kilkenny and Roman West scored one each.

Jack Jordan dished our four assists for the Raiders, while Kilkenny had two helpers and goaltender Sam Gartner played all 153 minutes for Regis Jesuit, saving 66 of the 78 shots he faced.

Coach Jeff Mielnicki’s Cherry Creek team finished second in Pool A behind Bethel Park, which hammered the Bruins 9-2 in their opening game on March 26.

Cherry Creek lost to J. Serra (Calif.) 4-3 in overtime on March 27 before capping the trip with a 5-1 victory over Medina (Ohio).

Ryan Worley (Eaglecrest), Matthew Reddy and Michael King tallied two goals apiece for the Bruins, with Nick Chavez, Michael Dubus, Noah Ingwers and Dalton Walker also lighting the lamp.

Joel Walker and Owen Berman dished out two assists each among 12 Cherry Creek players with at least one helper.

Three different goalies played for the Bruins, with Brady Mielnicki posting the victory with 17 saves against Medina. Quinton Reynolds (Overland) turned aside 30 of the 34 shots he saw in the overtime loss, while Aaron Jatana made 35 shots in the onslaught against Bethel Park.

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel


March 26-March 30 at Omaha, Neb.

POOL A — Bethel Park (Pa.) 9, CHERRY CREEK 2 (March 26); J. Serra (Calif.) 4, CHERRY CREEK 3 (OT) (March 27); CHERRY CREEK 5, Medina (Ohio) 1 (March 28)

POOL B — Peters Township (Pa.) 4, REGIS JESUIT 3 (OT) (March 26); REGIS JESUIT 5, Orange Lutheran (Calif.) 3 (March 27); Providence Catholic (Ill.) 5, REGIS JESUIT 1 (March 28)

Courtney Oakes is sports Editor and photographer with Sentinel Colorado. A Denver East High School alum. He came to the Sentinel in 2001 and since then has received a number of professional awards from...