Ice Hockey: Regis Jesuit, Ralston Valley play to 2-2 overtime tie in hockey thriller

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Regis Jesuit's Jack Kilkenny (16) hugs teammate Jack Jordan, facing, after Jordan scored the tying goal with 44.6 seconds left in regulation to lift the Raiders into a 2-2 tie with Ralston Valley in an ice hockey showdown on Feb. 13, 2015, at Family Sports Center. The game ended in a tie, keeping the Raiders unbeaten through 17 games. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)
Regis Jesuit’s Jack Kilkenny (16) hugs teammate Jack Jordan, facing, after Jordan scored the tying goal with 44.6 seconds left in regulation to lift the Raiders into a 2-2 tie with Ralston Valley in an ice hockey showdown on Feb. 13, 2015, at Family Sports Center. The game ended in a tie, keeping the Raiders unbeaten through 17 games. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

CENTENNIAL | If Friday night’s contest between Regis Jesuit and Ralston Valley was just the appetizer, the main course if the two meet down the line in the state ice hockey playoffs should be quite tasty.

The Raiders skated into the Family Sports Center unbeaten and the Mustangs — winners of the past two state championships — had just one loss, but nothing was decided in front of a packed house as both teams scored goals in the final two minutes of regulation and finished in a 2-2 overtime tie.

Regis Jesuit's Thomas Jahde breaks up ice during the third period of the Raiders' 2-2 tie with Ralston Valley on Feb. 13, 2015, at Family Sports Center. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)
Regis Jesuit’s Thomas Jahde breaks up ice during the third period of the Raiders’ 2-2 tie with Ralston Valley on Feb. 13, 2015, at Family Sports Center. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

Regis Jesuit (16-0-1 overall, 12-0-1 in the Foothills Conference) watched a goal lead midway through the third period turn into a goal deficit with just 1 minute, 56 seconds to play on a power play goal by Ralston Valley (15-1-1, 11-0-1), but Jack Jordan scored with just 44.6 seconds left to tie things for coach Dan Woodley’s team.

“This was a great game to come to and watch and it really showcased the level of high school hockey here in Colorado,” Woodley said.

“That game was as good a game as you’re going to get to watch at any time.”

Woodley noted that the two teams split four games in fall league play and then deadlocked in this contest. One team will win a big prize if the two meet again in the postseason, likely for the state championship if both get that far.

“We are separated by very little between these two teams,” he said. “It will be an interesting thing to see if we can both get through to the end. It is such a challenge this year with so many good teams, so we’ll see.”

The Raiders and Mustangs took turns asserting themselves in regulation, with Ralston Valley’s speed standing out early and Regis Jesuit’s grit eventually coming to the forefront.

It took until late in the second period for either team to score when Spencer Chuck slid a pass to a cutting Connor Brennan, who slipped it past Ralston Valley goaltender Scott Albertoni to put Regis Jesuit in front. Cale Woodley picked up an assist on the tally as well, which tied him with Brennan for the team lead with 20 on the season.

With Albertoni (13 saves on 15 shots against) and the Raiders’ Sam Gartner (24 saves on 26 shots against) standing tall in the nets and both defenses limiting quality scoring chances, Brennan’s goal stood up until 7:59 remained in regulation when the Mustangs’ Ian Snedden raised his stick to tip a shot from Colton Hellman that found its way into the goal.

Gartner stood up to Ralston Valley’s ensuing flurry looking for the go-ahead goal until the Raiders were whistled for a penalty with two minutes remaining. Off the face off, Tony Salazar poked home the go-ahead goal just four seconds later.

In desperation mode, Regis Jesuit got the equalizer when Roman West found Jordan for a quick finish, with Brennan also credited with an assist.

“It was a loose puck in the neutral zone and Roman slid it over to me and I put it in,” Jordan said of his 11th goal of the season. “We haven’t had to come back like that this season, but it’s good to see that we can do it when we have to. We have some big games coming up.”

Indeed, the Raiders finish the regular season with two more huge contests, back-to-back tilts against Cherry Creek on Feb. 20 followed by Mountain Vista — the team that snapped Ralston Valley’s Colorado winning streak at just short of 40 games earlier this season — on Feb. 21.

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

REGIS JESUIT 2, RALSTON VALLEY 2

Score by periods:

Ral. Valley    0  0  2  0 — 2

Regis Jesuit  0  1  1  0 — 2

SCORING

Second period: Regis Jesuit — Connor Brennan (Spencer Chuck, Cale Woodley), 18:21

Third period: Ralston Valley — Ian Snedden (Colton Hellman), 12:02; Ralston Valley — Tony Salazar, 18:00; Regis Jesuit — Jack Jordan (Brennan, Roman West), 19:16

Goaltenders: Ralston Valley — Scott Albertoni (15 shots on goal-13 saves); Regis Jesuit — Sam Gartner (26 shots on goal-24 saves)