As streaky teams go, not many teams do it better than Doherty and Cheyenne Mountain. Both saw those peaks and valleys in their regular-season finale Thursday at Sertich Ice Center.
Brennan Ward and Jake Komrofske each scored two goals, and Doherty scored seven unanswered goals to turn a one-goal deficit into a rout as the Spartans claimed the fifth seed in the Peak Conference with a 9-6 win over the Indians.
Down 3-2 midway through the second period, Doherty (11-8, 7-5) tied the score on Jordan Barrett's power-play goal - one of four on the night.
"We practice our power play all the time, to find that open guy so he can score," Ward said. "We have depth on three lines, and we knew what we needed to do."
The Spartans added three more goals in a span of 3:01 late in the period as Ward, Komrofske and Justyn Middlebrook all scored on rebounds at close range to open up a 6-3 advantage heading into the third period.
Ward's second goal of the game, a power-play goal with 6:45 left in the third, ended the barrage for Doherty.
"There was a lot on the line in this game, and we want to put ourselves in the best position for success in the playoffs," Spartans coach Will English said. "We got a little comfortable in the third period. We've had some ups and downs, but right now, we seem to be coming on strong and playing well."
Cheyenne Mountain (8-11, 7-6), which dropped to the No.?7 seed, lost its last four games of the regular season after a five-game winning streak.
The Indians led 1-0 just 28 seconds into the game on a goal by Ryan Case, then scored two consecutive goals to surge in front 3-2 after Brian Suslow banged in his own rebound with 9:17 left in the second period.
Then it all went wrong, starting with special teams.
"It starts with poor penalties," Indians junior Nick Lacayo said. "They have a good power play. We practiced our penalty kill in practice, but we couldn't get it down here. They're definitely a great team, and they worked hard and came out on top. We need to cut down on penalties and have our seniors and juniors step up and lead."
Conversely, the Spartans seemed to have turned it around at the right time, winning their third straight after coming off a 1-4 stretch.
"We have to build on these games and bring that momentum into the playoffs," Ward added. "We need to learn now to finish and keep that intensity going all the time."