COLORADO SPRINGS | Regis Jesuit is back in a place it is very familiar with — the state ice hockey semifinals — as the Raiders dispatched top-seeded Fountain Valley Saturday in the state quarterfinals.
Junior Nolan Carothers had two goals, including the game-winning score in the second period, as the defending state champions cruised past the Danes 7-3 at Sertich Ice Arena and into the final four.
Fourth-seeded Regis Jesuit (16-2-3) will take on top-seeded Monarch — which took down Air Academy 6-2 in another quarterfinal — in a semifinal at 8:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at Magness Arena at the University of Denver, with the winner skating the next night in the state championship game on the same ice. No. 1 Ralston Valley and No. 3 seed Resurrection Christian face off in the other semifinal.
“I thought we actually stepped up and played a couple of really good games,” said Regis Jesuit coach Dan Woodley, whose team made the semifinals for the sixth straight season. “Our seniors came to play and made sure they were playing 100 percent, so I feel a lot better about how we’re playing.”
The Raiders dropped their season finale against Aspen, but blanked Heritage 6-0 in the opening round Friday to move into the quarterfinals against an undermanned Fountain Valley team they’d beaten 8-2 prior to winter break. Regis Jesuit advanced against the undermanned Danes with a dominating final two periods, in which they scored six times.
A 1-1 tie was shattered by three Regis Jesuit goals in the span of two minutes early in the second period, as Brian Engh and Alec Aichinger tallied a minute apart and Carothers scored his second goal of the game to make it 4-1.
Fountain Valley made it 4-3 with the next two goals — one to end the second period and another to begin the third — but just 10 seconds after the second goal, Connor Duffy tallied for Regis Jesuit to up the lead to two.
Sean Brennan and Nathan Haas scored later in the period, which was plenty for goaltender Sam Harden (17 saves) to make stand up.
The Raiders get a rematch with a Monarch team they tied 3-3 in the final week of the regular season.
Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected] or 303-750-7555
(4) REGIS JESUIT 7, (1) FOUNTAIN VALLEY 3
Score by periods:
Regis Jesuit 1 3 3 — 7
Fountain Valley 1 1 1 — 3
First period: Regis Jesuit — Nolan Carothers (Tony Tuccy, Nathan Haas) (power play), 10:37; Fountain Valley — Garrett Van Wyhe (Brenden Wood), 13:26
Second period: Regis Jesuit — Brian Engh (Kirk Underwood, Carter Alcock), 1:23; Regis Jesuit — Alec Aichinger, 2:45; Regis Jesuit — Carothers (Brady Hall), 3:17; Fountain Valley — Aleksi Pulkkila (Jakub Myska) (power play), 5:36
Third period: Fountain Valley — Myska (Trevor Shott, Sage Marshall) (power play), 3:52; Regis Jesuit — Connor Duffy (Conner Wigton), 3:42; Regis Jesuit — Sean Brennan (Connor Brennan), 9:03; Regis Jesuit — Nathan Haas (Engh), 9:50