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

By: Justin Shaw preps@gazette.com
February 14, 2014 Updated: February 14, 2014 at 11:25 pm
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photo - Mountain Vista Golden Eagles goalie Joe Morgan (1) makes a save in the first period against the Lewis-Palmer Rangers in the first period. The Lewis-Palmer Rangers hosted the Mountain View Golden Eagles in ice hockey action on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 at Colorado Sports Center. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing
Mountain Vista Golden Eagles goalie Joe Morgan (1) makes a save in the first period against the Lewis-Palmer Rangers in the first period. The Lewis-Palmer Rangers hosted the Mountain View Golden Eagles in ice hockey action on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 at Colorado Sports Center. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing 

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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