HIGHLANDS RANCH | Rabid hockey fans wedged their way into every nook and cranny possible at the Ice Ranch Saturday night to get a glimpse of the most anticipated matchup of the young prep ice hockey season.
Regis Jesuit and Valor Christian — who both came into the game undefeated — made every cramped moment worth it for those in attendance, with the Raiders prevailing 2-1 in a feisty, physical contest.
Senior Anders Erickson’s even-strength goal with 5 minutes, 33 seconds, remaining in the second period broke a tie and coach Dan Woodley’s team finished the first portion of the season 6-0.
Senior Paxton Erickson scored the other goal for Regis Jesuit, senior Connor Kilkenny assisted on both scores and senior goaltender Max Harlan made 11 saves for the Raiders, who won’t resume play until Jan. 4, 2018.
Just under five minutes into the contest, Paxton Erickson tallied his team-leading eighth goal of the season to put Regis Jesuit in front, with assists going to Kilkenny and sophomore Nolan Sargent. The lead lasted a mere 22 seconds, however, as Valor Christians’s Cole Cavey netted the equalizer.
The deadlock lasted until late in the second period when Kilkenny fed the puck ahead to Anders Erickson on the left wing and he skated in and put a shot between the legs of Eagles goaltender Trey Hirschfield to break the tie.
Regis Jesuit took four penalties in the final period, but held Valor Christian (3-1) at bay the rest of the way.
The Eagles had scored nine or more goals in each of their three previous games, but got just 12 shots on goal.
The Raiders finished a 2-0 weekend after an 8-1 victory over Aspen on Friday at Family Sports Center.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
REGIS JESUIT 2, VALOR CHRISTIAN 1
Score by periods:
Regis Jesuit 1 1 0 — 2
Valor Christian 1 0 0 — 1
Regis Jesuit — Paxton Erickson (Connor Kilkenny, Nolan Sargent) (power play), 12:28; Valor Christian — Cole Cavey (Luke Wheeler, Colton Carson), 12:50
Regis Jesuit — Anders Erickson (Kilkenny, Kale Lone), 5:33
Goaltending: Regis Jesuit — Max Harlan (12 shots on goal-11 saves); Valor Christian — Trey Hirschfield (34 shots on goal-32 saves)