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Top Ten Battle: Cherry Creek vs. Monarch

By Scott Cattelino, 01/24/17, 4:45PM MST


#2 Cherry Creek faces off with #6 Monarch at the Sport Stable on Saturday

#9 Brendan Van Haute nets himself a hatty with this incredible top shelf snipe job over the short side shoulder to seal a 5-1 victory for #6 Monarch over #2 Cherry Creek.

Cherry Creek Bruins vs. Monarch Coyotes

Monarch goaltender #33 Logan Gorbitz makes one of his 24 saves in a 5-1 win.

     For those of you who were willing to write off the #6 Monarch Coyotes (6-3-0) this season, don't look now but the four time consecutive state runners up are surging back onto the scene and putting teams on notice as they do so.

     After dismantling #3 Valor Christian 6-0 on Friday night, the Coyotes set their sights on #2 Cherry Creek (8-1-0) on Saturday with the opportunity to get themselves back into the conversation as legitimate contenders for the Colorado state high school hockey championship.

     "We're really starting to come together as a team.  We had some bonding issues at the beginning of the season, these guys weren't working hard and they thought they could just come out and play hockey" said Monarch Head Coach Jimmy Dexter when asked what was the turning point for them this season.  "These guys have bought into the hard work and they are starting to play for each other and I've been really pleased with the way they've responded."   

     Unfortunately for the Bruins, their fate would be similar to the one the Eagles faced the previous evening, and Boulder High senior and new Monarch all-time leading scorer Brendan Van Haute (50G, 74A) and crew were determined to make sure of that.  "It feels great, it's really cool, it's something to be proud of," said Van Haute of his accomplishment.  "But I couldn't have done it without any of my former teammates or my line mates this year.  I've played with some great players, and I attribute most of my points to who I've played with."

#5 Mitchell Ganem scores the first goal of the game to give #6 Monarch the early 1-0 lead over #2 Cherry Creek.


     Mitchell Ganem got things going, scoring with under four minutes left in the first period to put Monarch up 1-0.  Just over three minutes later, Brendan Van Haute (3G, 1A) extended the Monarch lead to 2-0 on an unassisted power play goal with 40 seconds remaining before the end of the first period to give the Coyotes all the cushion they needed.

     The second period would start the same way it ended, when Van Haute struck again on the power play to make it 3-0 Monarch.  Jacob Given (1G, 1A) would add a power play goal himself with over four minutes remaining in the second to push the lead to 4-0, as Sal Pisciola (2A) was able to pick up a helper on each goal during the period. 



Monarch's #9 Brendan Van Haute scores the second of his three goals on the power play to put the Coyotes up 3-0.

     Cherry Creek made things interesting just over four minutes into the third, when Nico Hemming was able to cut the deficit to three on a power play goal to put the Bruins down 4-1.  However, once again it would be Van Haute on the answer, with a short side laser over the shoulder of the Bruins' goaltender to put the finishing touches on a 5-1 Coyotes victory.

     "It's definitely a different dynamic this year, being kind of the underdog almost" Van Haute said.  "I think we really like that mentality of being the underdog.  It kind of motivates us too, to work a lot harder instead of always being on top.  We kind of got complacent in years past, but not this year, we're not going to stop working hard."

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