Hockey: Pine Creek can't take advantage early

By Scott Kaniewski Published: February 21, 2014 | 10:10 pm 0

Monument - Coming into Friday's first-round hockey playoff game, Cherry Creek had lost just three times. Pine Creek, on the other hand, had lost seven.

Yet it wasn't until late in the game that Cherry Creek grabbed complete command.

The Bruins ruined Pine Creek's first trip to the playoffs in six years with a 6-2 win at the Colorado Sports Center to advance to Saturday's second round.

They play the winner between Steamboat Springs and Lewis-Palmer, which played late Friday night.

The Eagles (11-8-1) got chances early. And they had back-to-back power plays in the first 2:44 but never converted.

"We missed two open nets right on those chances," Pine Creek coach Ken Martel said. "If those go in, hey, there's a little something different going on."

Cherry Creek, however, did convert. The Bruins (16-3-1) scored 3:45 in, then padded their lead with three second-period goals to go up 4-1.

But Pine Creek senior Logan Bowles, one of four Eagles seniors to taste the playoffs for the first time, scored on the power play to cut the deficit to two with 42.9 seconds left in the second.

"We were amped," Bowles said. "We were just trying to get momentum to come into the next period and try and get a win out of the game."

The Eagles did carry the momentum over, getting a number of shots early in the third, but again they couldn't capitalize. And again the Bruins did.

Cherry Creek took advantage of its fifth power play, scoring just after the advantage expired.

Eagles goalie Conor Chmelka kept his team in it when the Bruins worked the puck in deep. Chmelka finished with 30 saves on 35 shots.

Bowles pointed to goalie Aaron Jatana, who stopped 32-of-34 shots, for the Bruins' success.

"To be honest, I think their goalie Jatana has got that team where they need to be," Bowles said. "We can play their team all day, we just couldn't get pucks in the net."

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