Ice Hockey: Regis Jesuit earns shot at Pure Division national title at U.S. Hockey Nationals

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Regis Jesuit senior John Kane scored three goals in two games on March 22, 2015, as the Raiders won twice to the reach the Pure Division championship game of the 2015 U.S. Hockey National Championship tournament in Chesterfield, Missouri. The Raiders play Santa Margarita, California, at 9:30 a.m. Monday for the national championship. (File photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)
Regis Jesuit senior John Kane scored three goals in two games on March 22, 2015, as the Raiders won twice to the reach the Pure Division championship game of the 2015 U.S. Hockey National Championship tournament in Chesterfield, Missouri. The Raiders play Santa Margarita, California, at 9:30 a.m. Monday for the national championship. (File photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

CHESTERFIELD, MISSOURI | The Regis Jesuit ice hockey team has a tradition of playing well at the annual U.S. Hockey National Championship tournament and this season is no exception.

The Raiders, who lost their one and only game of the Colorado high school season in the Frozen Four, posted a pair of victories on Sunday at Hardee’s Iceplex to earn a shot at the Pure Division national championship.

Regis Jesuit’s 5-1 win over St. Rita (Illinois) earned it a spot in the championship game, scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Monday at the same venue. The Raiders will face Santa Margarita, California — which got past Edina JGA of Minnesota 4-2 — in the championship game.

It will be a rematch of the 2013 USA Hockey National Championship final in Coral Springs, Florida, in which Santa Margarita bested the Raiders 4-3 in overtime to deny them a second straight national championship and also a rematch from the teams’ pool play game on Saturday, won by Santa Margarita 2-1.

Without coach Dan Woodley on the bench — due to the Colorado High School Activities Association’s rule against contact between coaches and players on Sundays — Regis Jesuit built a 3-0 lead after two periods against St. Rita on goals by Connor Brennan, Jack Jordan and Kyle Nelson, then got a power play goal by John Kane and shorthanded score by Andre Dugas to seal the victory in the third period.

Junior goaltender Sam Gartner stopped 26 of the 27 shots he faced in the goal for the Raiders.

In the Combined Division of the same tournament, Colorado state champion Cherry Creek also advanced to the national championship game. The Bruins play at 9 a.m. against Dubuque, Iowa.

Earlier Sunday, Brennan and Kane tallied two goals apiece as Regis Jesuit outlasted Christian Brothers College High School (Missouri) 4-3 in the quarterfinals. Jordan racked up three assists and Jack Kilkenny had two helpers for the Raiders, who got a 25-save performance in the nets from Bret Jahde.

Regis Jesuit’s opponent had three players ejected for game misconducts in the final five seconds and racked up 70 penalty minutes in all.

The Raiders finished second out of the Ducks (B) pool of the Pure Division with wins over feisty North Broward Prep, Florida (3-1) and Jesuit College Prep, Texas (4-1), before dropping their finale 2-1 to Santa Margarita.

The other three pools in the Pure Division included teams from Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel

2015 USA HOCKEY NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

SEMIFINALS — PURE DIVISION

Regis Jesuit 5, St. Rita (Illinois) 1

Score by periods:

St. Rita          0  0  1 — 1

Regis Jesuit  1  2  2 — 5

SCORING

First period: Regis Jesuit — Connor Brennan (Jack Kilkenny), 19:06

Second period: Regis Jesuit — Jack Jordan (power play) (Kilkenny, Roman West), 15:36; Regis Jesuit — Kyle Nelson (Thomas Jahde, Jordan), 16:58

Third period: St. Rita — Kennedy Dowling (power play), 3:12; Regis Jesuit — John Kane (power play) (Jordan, Brennan), 6:29; Regis Jesuit — Andre Dugas (shorthanded), 16:45

Goaltenders: St. Rita — Ian Jedlowski (27 shots on goal-22 saves); Regis Jesuit — Sam Gartner (27 shots on goal-26 saves)

CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTERFINALS

Regis Jesuit 4, Christian Brothers College HS (Missouri) 3

Regis Jesuit goals: Connor Brennan 2, John Kane 2; Regis Jesuit assists: Jack Jordan 3, Jack Kilkenny 2, Brennan; Regis Jesuit saves: Bret Jahde (28 shots on goal-25 saves)

POOL PLAY (DUCKS (B))

March 21: Santa Margarita (California) 2, Regis Jesuit 1

Regis Jesuit goal: Jack Kilkenny; Regis Jesuit assists: Connor Brennan, Roman West; Regis Jesuit saves: Sam Gartner (24 shots on goal-22 saves)

March 20: Regis Jesuit 4, Jesuit College Prep (Texas) 1

Regis Jesuit goals: Jack Kilkenny 3, Connor Brennan; Regis Jesuit assists: Thomas Jahde 2, Brennan, Sawyer Elliott, Kilkenny; Regis Jesuit saves: Bret Jahde (11 shots on goal-10 saves)

March 19: Regis Jesuit 3, North Broward Prep (Florida) 1

Regis Jesuit goals: Grant Johnson, John Kane, Cale Woodley; Regis Jesuit assists: Connor Brennan, Andre Dugas, Thomas Jahde, Roman West; Regis Jesuit saves: Sam Gartner (13 shots on goal-12 saves)