AURORA | Capsule preview look at the 2020 state ice hockey first round playoff game involving the Cherry Creek co-op team scheduled for Feb. 25, 2020:
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]: @aurorasports. FB: Sentinel Prep Sports
2020 STATE ICE HOCKEY FIRST ROUND PLAYOFF CAPSULE
NO. 22 RAMPART (11-8) VS. NO. 11 CHERRY CREEK (8-7-4), 5:10 P.M., FAMILY SPORTS CENTER
Breakdown: Rampart and the Cherry Creek co-op team play each other for the first time since Dec. 12, 2015, when the Bruins posted an 8-1 non-conference victory.
RAMPART: The Rams finished the season second in the Apex Conference standings behind No. 7 Doherty and played eight games against playoff qualifiers during the course of the regular season, posting a 1-7 record against those teams (with the lone winning coming against No. 24 Mullen). Coach Michael Good’s Rams come into the postseason having split their last four games following a four-game winning streak. …Rampart has neither been shut out on the season, nor recorded a shut out. …Offense has not been a problem for Rampart, which has a total of 108 goals in 19 games that is the third-most in Colorado (behind No. 8 Pine Creek’s 129 and No. 4 Denver East’s 117). Ethan Meyer and Logan Matheny share the goal lead for the Rams with 18 apiece to top five players in double figures, while eight Rampart players have 10 or more assists to their credit, led by Jonathan Musser with 27 and Meyer (who has a team-high 40 points) with 22. Syd Dahl has spent the majority of the season in the nets for the Rams and sports an 11-7 record with a 4.18 Goals Against Average and .848 save percentage.
CHERRY CREEK: The assembly of players from schools all across Cherry Creek Schools finished 3-1-1 in its final fives games of the regular season. Coach Jeff Mielnicki’s team came in fourth in the rugged Foothills Conference, which saw all six of its teams qualify for the postseason, including the Nos. 1 & 2 seeds in Valor Christian and Chaparral and the Bruins played a schedule that included 16 games against playoff qualifiers, in which they went 6-7-4. …Cherry Creek is one the lowest-scoring teams in the playoffs (3.32 goals per game), but also one of the best defensive units with just 2.84 goals allowed per contest. …Offensively, the Bruins spread the wealth as 15 different players scored at least one goal and 11 had two or more, but senior F Hunter Fieweger (Cherokee Trail) was the clear offensive leader with a team-best total of 17 goals that helped him lead the team in points in the regular season with 25. Similarly, 18 Cherry Creek players made the scoresheet at least once with assists and none cracked double figures, though senior F Riley Hunt-Bahn and senior D Luke Flay (Cherokee Trail) came closest with nine assists apiece and Fieweger had eight. Mielnicki distributed minutes in the goal to three different players: Lucas Banks, Brent Altschuler and Dylan Romanow during the regular season with Banks (4-3-3) leading the way in minutes played and the team lead in Goals Against Average and save percentage.
WINNER GETS: The Rampart-Cherry Creek winner moves on in Quadrant 3 of the playoff bracket into a second round contest against No. 6 Heritage in a contest scheduled for noon on Feb. 28 at the NoCo Ice Arena. The Rams did not match up with the Eagles during the regular season, but the Bruins lost to them 4-3 in their second-to-last game of the regular season. Third-seeded Fort Collins is the host team for the quadrant.
Full 2020 state ice hockey playoff bracket and schedule, here