DENVER | The 2019 state ice hockey state championship game between Regis Jesuit and Dakota Ridge is scheduled to be played on March 4, 2019, at the Pepsi Center. Here’s the state final matchup at a glance:
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2019 STATE ICE HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
7 p.m. March 4 at Pepsi Center
BREAKDOWN: The 2019 state ice hockey championship game pits sixth-seeded Dakota Ridge against top-seeded Regis Jesuit at the Pepsi Center — home of the Colorado Avalanche — for the second year in a row. The Raiders will play for the championship on the same ice for the third time, having split the previous two times (topping Valor Christian last season and falling to Lewis-Palmer in 2011). Regis Jesuit is 5-2 all-time in state championship games with wins coming in 2008 (over Battle Mountain), 2009 (over Lewis-Palmer), 2012 (over Ralston Valley), 2016 (over Monarch) and 2018 (over Valor Christian) and losses in 2011 (to Lewis-Palmer) and 2017 (to Monarch). Dakota Ridge, conversely, is in the state final for the first time…Regis Jesuit and Dakota Ridge haven’t meet since they played a pair of contests during the 2017-18 regular season, with the Raiders winning both (7-2 and 8-2). The last postseason contest between the programs came in the 2016-17 playoffs when Regis Jesuit won a 3-2 decision in the quarterfinals.
DAKOTA RIDGE (15-5-2): Coach Jeff Towle has guided the Eagles to the state championship game for the first time, with the program’s previously closest chance coming in the 2014-15 season when it lost in four overtimes to Cherry Creek in a game played at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland. To get to the title game, Dakota Ridge roared past second-seeded Valor Christian — a 2018 finalist — for a 5-1 semifinal victory March 1. Senior F Drew Eickelman had a hat trick in that contest and has six goals in three postseason contests, while F Parker Spann had the Eagles other two goals. D Jake Eickelman racked up three assists in the semifinal win, while Drew Eickelman added a pair of assists with Spann and F Graham Mansfield also earning helpers. In the net, G Riley Allen stopped 25 of the 26 shots he faced. …In the postseason, Mansfield is one behind Drew Eickleman for the goal lead for Dakota Ridge with five, Spaan has tallied four, Jake Eickelman three and four other players have one apiece, while Allen has played all 171 postseason minutes in the net and made 82 saves on 90 shots (2.81 GAA). In the regular season, the Eagles had four double-digit goal scorers in Drew Eickelman (24), Spann (12), Jake Eickelman (11) and Mansfield (10), while the Eickelmans tied for the team lead in assists with 20 and Mansfield added 16. Allen played 822 of the roughly 1,000 minutes in the net with a 3.36 GAA.
REGIS JESUIT (21-1): Coach Dan Woodley has the Raiders playing for yet another state championship and aiming to defend last season’s crown, the program’s third all-time, while playing in the final for the fourth consecutive season. Regis Jesuit has lost just one of its last 43 games in Colorado, a 5-4 road loss to Fort Collins Jan. 26. Since then, the Raiders have won eight straight games, including a 4-0 blanking of Chaparral in the March 1 semifinals. Junior D Nolan Sargent scored the first two goals for Regis Jesuit, while senior F Nicholas Schultz and senior F Drew Renner had the other two scores. Senior G Marco Sandoval needed to make just 11 saves for his second postseason shutout. …In the postseason, Sargent and Schultz had three goals apiece, while five other Regis Jesuit players (senior F Kale Lone, senior F Colin Walsh, senior F Mac Padilla, senior F Luke Dosen and Renner) had a goal apiece, with Lone (3), Sargent, Walsh, Dosen and senior D Justin Lico responsible for multiple assists. Sandoval has stopped 35 of the 36 shots he’s seen in all 153 postseason minutes in the net for the Raiders. …Regis Jesuit has four double-digit goal scorers in the regular season in Lone (the team’s leading in both power play and shorthanded goals) and Sargent, who each had 13 goals, followed by Dosen with 11 and Lico with 10 (five of them game-winners). Eight players registered 10 or more assists, led by Lone with 22, Lico with 21 and Dosen with 16. Freshman G Gage Bussey saw action in 13 games and went 5-1 with a 1.45 GAA, but Sandoval got plenty of work and finished 12-0with a 0.93 GAA.