#21 Wyatt Verity starts the comeback for Regis by popping bottles to cut the Cherry Creek lead to 3-1 toward the end of the second period.
Regis Jesuit's #2 Cade Alcock gets acquainted with Cherry Creek's #10 Joe Whitmore.
The #5 Cherry Creek Bruins (8-2-0) hosted the defending Colorado state champions and #1 ranked Regis Jesuit (10-0-0) in the bear den at Family Sports on Friday night, and the top ranked Raiders soon found out that they were an unwelcome guest.
In what I believe was the best high school hockey game I have seen so far this season, a banged up Bruins squad looked to gain a share of the Foothills Conference lead with Regis and be the first team in a year to defeat the defending champs. The Raiders were trying to gain a distinct advantage in the conference and remain undefeated and the undisputed top team in Colorado high school hockey. No pressure, right?
#22 Brandon Cyrus (far left) goes top shelf short side for the first goal of the game to put Creek up 1-0.
Special teams would prove to play a huge role in this one, and the penalty boxes would be full, as six of the seven goals scored in the game were on the power play and the teams would combine for 19 penalties. Cherry Creek's Brandon Cyrus would start things off on a power play top shelf snipe with under four minutes left in the first period to give Creek a 1-0 lead.
Things continued to look good for the Bruins when Diego Lovato (1G, 1A) was able to light the lamp on the power play once again with just seconds remaining in the first period to give Cherry Creek a two goal lead and all the momentum going into the second up 2-0.
#24 Diego Lovato scores over the outstretched pads of the Regis goalie to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead.
As the second period began, the frustrations were mounting for Regis and it started to show, as another Raiders penalty led to Cherry Creek stretching their lead out to three goals. Henry Raabe (1G, 1A) would score the third straight power play goal to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead midway through the second.
Just as it seemed the #1 team in the state was about to go down in a blaze, in just a matter of moments the tide turns and momentum switches back to the champs with the flick of a hockey stick. It was now Cherry Creek's frustrations showing as four Bruins penalties in the last six minutes of the second left the door open for the Raiders to plunder the game.
#15 Shane Ott (bottom) celebrates with teammates after pulling Regis within one goal at 3-2 at the end of the second period.
Wyatt Verity (2G, 1A) narrowed the lead down to 3-1 on another power play goal with under five minutes left. With just seconds remaining in the second period, Shane Ott (1G, 2A) was able to pull the Raiders within one goal on a power play score to trim the Bruins lead down to 3-2 heading into the final period.
The tensions would mount toward the end of the third period, where again Cherry Creek would find itself in the penalty box at the wrong time. Wyatt Verity would strike again with 1:32 remaining to tie things up at 3-3, setting the stage for birthday boy Michael Baer to complete the comeback on a power play goal with less then a minute remaining to give the Raiders four unanswered goals and the 4-3 victory.
#21 Wyatt Verity scores his second goal to tie the score at 3-3 with just minutes remaining.
#11 Michael Baer scores the game winning goal with just under a minute remaining to give Regis a 4-3 win.