Pine Creek 7, Valor Christian 6
At Sertich Ice Center: Two nights after a stunning loss to Liberty, Pine Creek bounced back with four goals from Zach Zimmerman - including a natural hat trick in the first period - and the Eagles punched their ticket to the postseason behind Dawson Wright's short-handed goal early in the third period.
The Eagles scored the first five goals, as Zimmerman scored the first, third and fifth goals. Valor answered with a score to end the first period, then tallied the first three of the second period, cutting the lead to one.
But Zimmerman scored his fourth of the night (17th of the season) 30 seconds later to put the Eagles back up by two. Wright's second goal of the game came 6:51 into the third and put Pine Creek up 7-4.
Valor Christian scored twice in the last couple minutes, including Ben Joseph's third of the game, but they couldn't find the game-tying goal.
Pueblo County 5, Cheyenne Mountain 3
At Sertich Ice Center: Matt Peters notched a natural hat trick with three goals in the first period, adding a fourth in the third, and Pueblo County (8-8-2, 5-7) was off and running, making a last-ditch effort to qualify for the postseason.
Cheyenne Mountain (8-9, 7-4 Peak Conference) finishes the season with Mountain Vista and Doherty, but has already qualified for the postseason. It's just a matter of what place finish that will determine their playoff fate.
Michael Rodighiero and Dakota Henn scored power-play goals in the second period for the Indians to cut the lead to 3-2. But Peters scored his fourth 5:42 into the final period and Isaac Ruybal's short-handed tally was the insurance goal that Pueblo County turned out not to need.
Doherty 4, Rampart 1
At Sertich Ice Center: Brennan Ward scored twice and the Doherty defense held Rampart to 13 shots, giving the Spartans an outside shot at finishing in the top half of the conference.
Ward put the Spartans up 1-0 on a short-handed goal with 2:36 left in the first period, then added another 2:33 into the third period after Rampart's Wyatt Benoit had cut the lead to 2-1.
Justyn Middlebrook's second-period goal proved to be the game-winner.
Lewis-Palmer 9, Air Academy 2
At Sertich Ice Center: Nick Pavlik scored twice in the first period and complete his hat trick in the third, as Lewis-Palmer (17-1, 12-0 Peak Conference) cruised by scoring the game's first six goals - all in the first period - while eliminating Air Academy (5-11-2, 4-7-2) from playoff contention.
Julian Claudio scored twice for L-P.
Travis Hinton scored both of Air Academy's goals.
Since the Kadets fired coach Dave Meisinger, Air Academy is 2-8-2, hasn't won since Jan. 16 and has dropped its last five games.
Air Academy 55, Vista Ridge 35
At Air Academy: Kassady Huffman scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, Kylie Barry added 13 points and Avery Downey 12 as Air Academy (8-9, 4-5 4A Pikes Peak Athletic Conference) cruised past Vista Ridge (4-15, 2-8).
Downey also dished out a team-high four assists.
Air Academy 67, Vista Ridge 51
At Vista Ridge: A 22-point third quarter turned Air Academy's two-point deficit into an eight-point lead and the Kadets (14-4, 7-2 4A PPAC) poured another 21 points on in the fourth to pull away from Vista Ridge (5-14, 1-9).
Five players scored in double digits for the Kadets, led by John Sims' 16 points. Paul Fertig and Adam Brown each scored 13, while Brown added 13 rebounds for the double-double. Sims dished out five assists and grabbed seven rebounds.
Vista Ridge was led by Noah Beatty's 10 points.