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Gazette Premium Content Hockey: Mountain Vista tops Lewis-Palmer to win Peak Conference

by Justin Shaw preps@gazette.com - Published: February 14, 2014

Monument - All good things must come to an end, and that was the case for Lewis-Palmer's 16-game winning streak Friday night.

Mountain Vista had no interest in playing nice on Valentine's Day, dominating the Rangers 5-1 in Monument, on Lewis-Palmer's senior night.

In a clash for the Peak Conference title, Mountain Vista (18-1) never trailed and controlled play for the majority of the contest.

"I thought we played well and battled hard, but Mountain Vista is a deep, fast team," L-P assistant coach Kevin Margarucci said. "We missed some opportunities, but I told the kids that nothing bad could happen tonight and we'd still be seeded well in the state tournament."

Things couldn't have started any worse for Lewis-Palmer, as Mountain Vista's Matt Adams beat Rangers goalie Marcus Smith just 1:24 into the first period. After the early hiccup, Lewis-Palmer (17-2) settled in, killing off a penalty halfway through the period and limiting the damage to 1-0 after the first 17 minutes.

The Golden Eagles struck again at the 11:29 mark of the second period when Tanner Gillis beat Smith to make it 2-0.

Lewis-Palmer made things interesting for a short time in the second period when DJ Jones scored a power-play goal off assists from Casey McMullin and Dmitri Smith at 7:01.

Just when it looked like the Rangers were back in the game, Mountain Vista ripped the momentum away with a score at 1:29 of the second period, taking a two-goal lead into the final period.

"We have to come back hard in practice and have a positive attitude," L-P captain Adam Schaefer said. "This loss will serve as a wakeup call for us and show us how much harder we need to work."

To make matters worse, Mountain Vista's Cade Boreing scored a short-handed goal just over a minute into the third period to put the game out of reach at 4-1. Kaden Stewart would tally a goal midway through the third period to make it 5-1.

"You could tell by our guys' body language that the short-handed goal was deflating," Margarucci said. "But that's a good team, and there's no shame being 17-2."

For Lewis-Palmer, the loss not only was its first since a 5-2 defeat at the hands of Ralston Valley on Dec. 6, it also will drop them to the No. 2 seed from the Peak Conference heading into the state tournament.

The five goals the Rangers surrendered tied a season high - the other coming in the loss to Ralston Valley in the third game of the season. Mountain Vista peppered the Lewis-Palmer net, owning the shot advantage 41-18.

Despite settling for second place, the Rangers will host the first two rounds of a playoff pod next week.

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