Golden Eagles hockey inches closer to hosting regionals
CENTENNIAL - Mountain Vista’s hockey team, according to head coach Lev Cohen, is heading in the right direction.
And that direction could be to South Suburban Ice Arena to host one of four CHSAA hockey regionals after the Golden Eagles edged Heritage 5-4 in a Peak Conference game Saturday night at South Suburban.
Mountain Vista’s win pulled the Golden Eagles into a tie with Heritage at 11-2-0 in the Peak Conference with each team having one regular season game remaining.
Fountain Valley leads the Peak Conference with a 11-1-0 record and the top two teams in the Peak and Foothills Conference will host four-team regional playoff tournaments Feb. 22-23.
Since Mountain Vista beat Heritage, it will give the Golden Eagles the nod over the Heritage Eagles for second place if both teams win their final game.
Mountain Vista plays Cheyenne Mountain (4-7-0) Thursday and Heritage battles Valor Christian (8-3-1) Saturday. Both games are at South Suburban.
Fountain Valley plays Pueblo County and Bishop Machebeuf, two teams with combined 8-15-0 records in conference action.
“This get us second place if we win Thursday,” Cohen said. “We played well. We have a few things to fix but we’re going in the right direction.”
Bryan Hancock had two goals and an assist for the Golden Eagles and Brantt Heble had a goal and assist.
Heble, a senior who attends Chaparral High School, scored the game-winning goal that gave Mountain Vista a 5-3 lead at the 13:09 mark of the third period.
“I got a good pass and it was pretty easy to put it away,” Heble said. “It was on the back door. The puck just popped right out in front in front and it was just a tap in.”
Heble extended his points streak to six games and he has seven goals and six assists in the past five games.
Heritage’s captain Scott Appleby collected his fourth goal of the game 51 seconds after Heble’s tap in to pull the Eagles to within 5-4 but Mountain Vista goalie Joe Morgan made two of his 27 saves in the final 36 seconds of the contest with Heritage playing with a man advantage to seal the victory.
It was the seventh win in a row for Morgan, a sophomore ar Highlands Ranch.
“Joe played great for them,” said Heritage coach Jeremy Sims. “He had some great saves in the game. We had some great chances right on the door step but missed.
“More than likely will not get home ice now. We’ll definitely bounce back. We have Valor next week. We’re shorthanded right now with three kids out with concussions and two suspended. This was a big game. We knew it, they knew it, the refs knew it and the kids knew it. That was by far the most kids we’ve had to watch a hockey game.”
Mountain Vista contained Heritage’s state scoring leader Connor Crory, holding him to three assists in the game.
Crory, who attends Arapahoe High School, is well on his way to the state scoring title with 31 goals and 29 assists for 60 points.