Chaparral, a first-year hockey program, and Valor Christian have advanced to the semifinals of the state hockey tournament, but both teams will face tough challenges in the Frozen Four. Chaparral …
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Chaparral, a first-year hockey program, and Valor Christian have advanced to the semifinals of the state hockey tournament, but both teams will face tough challenges in the Frozen Four.
Chaparral (16-5-1) draws unbeaten and last season's state runner-up Regis Jesuit (21-0-0) in a 5 p.m. semifinal contest on March 1 at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Valor Christian (19-2-0) takes on defending state champion Monarch (19-2-0) at 7:30 p.m. at the Pepsi Center.
The state championship game will be played on March 6 at the Pepsi Center.
Chaparral, a co-op team made up of players from the high schools in Parker, is seeded 13th in the state tournament bracket. It defeated Rampart 8-0, edged Fort Collins 4-2 in the second round, and topped Steamboat Springs, 8-5, to gain a spot in the Frozen Four.
Tyler Johnson had three goals and four points in the win over Steamboat Springs and also collected the game-winning goal in the victory against a Fort Collins team that had topped the Wolverines twice during the regular season
Chaparral will be facing a Regis program that has won three state tittles over the past seven seasons.
“Our boys played with a lot of heart to earn a trip to the Frozen Four,” said Chaparral coach Ryan Finnefrock. “They put in a lot of work this season and they deserved it. We'll have an extremely tough test against a great Regis team. We'll go into the game like the 1980 men's Olympic team, trying to pull off a miracle.
“I asked the boys every game this postseason, `are they satisfied?' Their answer was no. So anything can happen.”
Valor Christian's only two losses this season came to Regis and Monarch.
The Eagles, the third seed in the tournament behind Regis and Monarch, earned a 6-1 second-round win over Pueblo County and got goals from Colton Carlson and Luke Wheeler in the third period in a 4-2 quarterfinal victory over Aspen. Carlson's goal at 2:55 of the third was the game winner.
In other tournament games involving south metro teams, Castle View notched a 5-2 first-round win over Mountain Vista but was eliminated with an 8-1 loss to Monarch in the second round.
Aspen downed Heritage, 4-1, in the second round. Kent Denver went into overtime before defeating Cherry Creek, 4-3, in a second-round contest.
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