There’s simply no way the 2014-15 prep ice hockey season could have gone any better for the two teams including Aurora players.
Between Regis Jesuit and the Cherry Creek co-op team that included players from Cherokee Trail, Grandview, Smoky Hill and other Aurora schools, the impressive takeaway from the season included one Colorado state championship and a pair of national titles to boot.
The 2014-15 Aurora Sentinel All-City Ice Hockey Team, which was selected by the Sentinel in conjuction with balloting of city coaches, includes a mix of the best of both talented squads. Forwards Nick Chavez and Chris Nitchen, defenseman James Shelton and goaltender Brady Mielnicki represent the Bruins, while forwards Connor Brennan and Cale Woodley and defenseman Thomas Jahde claimed spots from the Raiders.
Coach Jeff Mielnicki’s Cherry Creek co-op team captured the district program’s first Colorado state championship since 1979 in just the third season since it was restarted following a two-decade hiatus.
Chavez and Nitchen each scored two goals in Cherry Creek’s four playoff victories, with each neeting a game-winner in the Frozen Four. Nitchen’s goal against Dakota Ridge in the sixth overtime sent the Bruins into the title game vs. Monarch, which Chavez ended with a triple-overtime goal.
Chavez scored 14 goals and racked up 12 assists on the season, while Nitchen scored 10 times and had 16 helpers.
On the backline, Shelton provided grit and fiery play, while also contributing offensively. His total of nine goals and nine assists led Cherry Creek defensemen in both categories.
Mielnicki played well in the goal in the regular season, but found another level in the postseason. He played 241 minutes, 13 seconds, between the pipes for the Bruins and only let six of opponents’ 136 shots on goal get past him. Mielnicki then won all six games at the the U.S. Hockey National Championships, at which Cherry Creek won the Combined Division national title.
Coach Dan Woodley’s Regis Jesuit team lost to Monarch fo a third straight season in the Frozen Four, but the Raiders rebounded to win the Pure Division national title a few weeks later for the program’s second national crown in four seasons.
Thanks to an explosive, relentless offense and veteran defense, Regis Jesuit — the model of consistently elite play as it earned an eighth consecutive trip to the Frozen Four — was undefeated until the 5-1 semifinal loss to the Coyotes.
Cale Woodley — the lone underclassman on the All-City first team — had a huge season with a team-high 20 goals and 20 assists, while Brennan topped the team in assists with 24 to go with 15 goals.
Jahde’s intelligence and puck-moving ability were tremendous in the back for Regis Jesuit, while he also scored three goals and added 11 assists.
All six of the seniors on the All-City first team were selected for the Senior All-Star Game, which pitted the top senior players from the Foothills Conference against the tops from the Peak Conference.
The All-City second team includes Sean DeKramer of Cherry Creek (who attends Cherokee Trail), who scored plenty of big goals in both postseason tournaments in his lone season with the team, and Tim Keohane (Smoky Hill) — who led the Bruins with 15 total goals — plus Regis Jesuit junior sniper Jack Kilkenny (who had 3 goals and 3 assists in three playoff games) and Jahde’s veteran defensive partner Carter Alcock.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
2014-14 AURORA SENTINEL ALL-CITY ICE HOCKEY TEAM
Forward — Connor Brennan, sr. (Regis Jesuit), Nick Chavez, sr. (Cherry Creek), Chris Nitchen, sr. (Cherry Creek), Cale Woodley, jr. (Regis Jesuit); Defense — Thomas Jahde, sr. (Regis Jesuit), James Shelton, sr. (Cherry Creek); Goaltender — Brady Mielnicki, sr. (Cherry Creek)
Forward — Sean DeKramer, sr. (Cherry Creek/Cherokee Trail), Jack Jordan, jr. (Regis Jesuit), Tim Keohane, sr. (Cherry Creek/Smoky Hill), Jack Kilkenny, jr. (Regis Jesuit); Defense — Carter Alcock, sr. (Regis Jesuit), Blake Hoffman, soph. (Cherry Creek/Grandview); Goaltender — Sam Gartner, jr. (Regis Jesuit)
D Cade Alcock (Regis Jesuit), F Andre Dugas (Regis Jesuit), D Garret Glaspy (Cherry Creek), F Sam Harris (Cherry Creek), F Noah Ingwers (Cherry Creek), G Bret Jahde (Regis Jesuit); F Grant Johnson (Regis Jesuit), F John Kane (Regis Jesuit), D Jack Venuto (Cherry Creek), D Roman West (Regis Jesuit), F Blake Yount (Cherry Creek/Smoky Hill)