SUPERIOR -- Idle for nearly two weeks, the Monarch hockey team expected a little rust.
The Coyotes appeared as sharp and cohesive Friday night as a team that had regularly faced opposing competition the past few weeks. They took command of struggling Kent Denver early and never let off the gas in an 8-0 whitewash at Boulder Valley Ice at Superior.
"There have been a lot of games this season where we come out strong in the first period, then we sit back," Monarch coach Jimmy Dexter said. "These guys just kept taking it to 'em, which was nice to see."
The Coyotes (12-1, 8-1) remained among a quintet of top-flight contenders in the Foothills League and will aim to stay that way until defending-champion Regis Jesuit visits on Feb. 11.
The Coyotes also have a challenging non-league contest against Doherty (12-3) Saturday, but undoubtedly, Regis will be the big one.
"It's always in the back of your mind and everyone thinks about (it)," said Monarch forward Jake Christofferson, who scored two goals and had an assist. "We'll take these games as they come and keep moving forward. And when we play Regis, we'll be ready."
It took Monarch a mere 1 minute, 13 seconds to seize control of this one, as Christofferson took a feed from Alec Barber after the Coyotes won a draw and scored a wrap-around, power-play goal.
By the time the first was over, Christofferson added another goal and Mattijs Ossorio and Jake Orsborn also tallied scores as the Coyotes built a 4-0 advantage.
They also killed off a 5-minute charging penalty to DJ Burnett in the period. Burnett made amends with an unassisted goal in the second period. The Coyotes also received goals from Noah Zimmerman, Walker Harris and Chris Miller.
If there was any rust, it wasn't apparent.
"The little break was actually good," Christofferson said. "We got to recoup and reassess what we want to achieve. It was good to get everyone together for some bonding and to keep working."
The Coyotes had been off since defeating Aspen on Jan. 19, which capped a stretch of five games in eight days. Goaltender Ian Oden, who stopped all 15 Sun Devils shots, concurred that the hiatus was enriching for the team.
"Tonight, it looked like we really wanted it," Oden said. "The last couple games we hadn't been working, playing down to teams' levels, but tonight we came out and moved the puck really well. It looked like we were on the power-play the whole game, pretty much."
The Coyotes had seven different players with goals and six with assists. That's the type of thing that keeps a coach happy.
"That's nice to see, because a lot of our scoring had just been coming from that number one line and the power-play unit," Dexter said. "It's nice to get a few other guys in there scoring."
Monarch now boasts a 68-15 cumulative scoring ratio, a gaudy total one-upped only by Regis. The Raiders (12-0-2) have throttled opponents 82-17.
"I've been thinking about (the Regis matchup) for months," Christofferson said. "Ever since I saw it on the schedule."
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Monarch 8, Kent Denver 0
Boulder Valley Ice at Superior
Kent Denver (3-9, 1-8) 0 0 0 -- 0
Monarch (12-1, 8-1) 4 4 0 -- 8
Goals (assists) -- First period: Monarch: Jake Christofferson (Alex Barber), 1:18; Monarch: Mattijs Ossorio (Alec Michaels), 3:52; Monarch: Jake Orsborn (Jake Christofferson, Justin White); Monarch: Jake Christofferson (Walker Harris).
Second period: Monarch: DJ Burnett, 8:57; Monarch: Noah Zimmerman (Jake Orsborn), 9:57; Monarch: Walker Harris, 13:54; Monarch: Chris Miller (Noah Zimmerman), 15:29.
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) -- Kent Denver: Zack Van Sky (51-8-22); Monarch: Ian Oden (51-0-15).