Ice Hockey: Venuto goal lifts Cherry Creek past Air Academy on road

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COLORADO SPRINGS | The Cherry Creek ice hockey team picked up a huge victory in a key stretch of the season Monday night, outlasting Air Academy 4-3 at Sertich Ice Arena in a non-league battle of one-loss teams.

Jack Venuto’s power play goal with 3 minutes, 31 seconds, remaining on overtime netted the Bruins — a co-op team full of players from around the Cherry Creek School District — their third straight victory as they moved to 14-2.

Outside of a six-goal explosion by Cherry Creek and Air Academy (13-3) in the second period, neither team scored i in the first period, third period or overtime until Venuto converted on passes from Sean DeKramer and James Shelton to end the game shortly after an interference penalty to the Kadets’ Sam Thrutchley.

DeKramer and Blake Yount scored even strength goals in the second period and Nick Chavez tallied shorthanded for coach Jeff Mielnicki’s Bruins, who saw a 3-1 lead evaporate late in the period.

Shelton finished with two assists, while Chris Nitchen and Kody Poon also had helpers for Cherry Creek, while saw goaltender Brady Mielnicki turn aside 27 of the 30 shots he faced.

Next up for the Bruins is a big Foothills Conference contest on Friday against Monarch at Boulder Valley Ice, which comes a week before their showdown with Regis Jesuit.

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

CHERRY CREEK 4, AIR ACADEMY 3 (OT)

Score by periods:

Cherry Creek  0  3  0  1 — 4

Air Academy   0  3  0  0 — 3

SCORING

Second period: Cherry Creek — Blake Yount, 4:43; Cherry Creek — Nick Chavez (shorthanded) (Chris Nitchen), 8:10; Air Academy — Jarod Kane (power play) (Jonathan Valtin, Luke Ciolli) 8:23; Cherry Creek — Sean DeKramer (James Shelton, Kody Poon), 13:02; Air Academy — Valtin (power play) (Ciolli, Travis Work), 16:51; Air Academy — Work (Sam Thrutchley, Valtin), 18:13

Overtime: Cherry Creek — Jack Venuto (power play) (DeKramer, Shelton), 3:03

Cherry Creek saves: Brady Mielnicki (30 shots on goal-27 saves); Air Academy saves: Jason Stolz (34 shots on goal-30 saves)