SUPERIOR -- A night after recording the first postseason victory in team annals, the Monarch hockey team emphatically proved that it wasn't done.

The Coyotes completely dismantled a solid Air Academy squad Saturday night at Boulder Valley Ice, a 6-2 quarterfinals victory that earned a date with Regis Jesuit in the Frozen Four (8:30 p.m., Thursday, Magness Arena).

"We came out flying," said Monarch coach Jimmy Dexter, whose team led 5-0 entering the third period. "In the first two periods, we didn't miss a beat. These guys were nonstop, four lines just going."

Monarch (18-1-2) ousted Lewis-Palmer 12-2 in the first round Friday night, and the Coyotes parlayed the momentum into a dominating start against the Kadets (15-5-1).

They leapt to a 3-0 first-period lead after opening with a 20-1 shot advantage (it was 64-20 for the game). Alex Barber opened the scoring less than 3 minutes into the contest, when he redirected a blue-line blast from defenseman DJ Burnett past Kadets goaltender Jake Ebmeyer.

High-scoring linemates Walker Harris and Jake Christofferson added goals in the period, and the Coyotes were never threatened.

"It's interesting how much better we've gotten since last year," said Harris, a sophomore whose goal was his 21st of the season. "Now that we've made it to the final four blowing out teams, we have a lot of confidence."

Only Ebmeyer's flurry of brilliant saves -- he had 52 on the night before being relieved with about 5 minutes remaining -- prevented this one from being a double-digit rout.


"He stood on his head," Dexter said.

Christofferson scored two goals, upping his season total to 26 to go with 28 assists. Cameron Taggart and Jake Orsborn added tallies for the Coyotes, who will take on a defending-champion Regis squad that has won three of the past five state titles.

The Raiders played Monarch to a 3-3 tie earlier this month.

"These guys are excited to get another shot," Dexter said. "I think we need to be more disciplined, and that really hurt us because we were shorthanded so much. If we can play 5-on-5, I think we have a good shot."

Travis Work put Air Academy on the board with a pair of goals in the third period, but the outcome had long been decided by then.

The winner of the Monarch-Regis game will advance to the championship game on Friday night, also at University of Denver-based Magness Arena. Ralston Valley and Resurrection Christian square off in Thursday's other semifinal at 6 p.m.

"I'm really excited having the big stage of Magness Arena," Harris said. "It'll be fun to have a rematch on neutral ice."


Follow Paul on Twitter: @PaulWillis21



Monarch 6, Air Academy 2

At Boulder Valley Ice

Air Academy (15-5-1) 0 0 2 -- 2

Monarch (18-1-2) 3 2 1 -- 6


Goals (assists)

First period -- 1. Monarch: Barber (Burnett), 2:29; 2. Monarch: Harris (Orsborn), 6:55 (pp); 3. Monarch: Christofferson (Gardner, Harris), 7:40.

Second period -- 4. Monarch: Christofferson (Barber, Orsborn); 5. Monarch: Taggart (Zimmerman).

Third period -- 6. Air Academy: Work (Valtin); 7. Air Academy: Work (Nash); Monarch: Orsborn (Barber).

Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) -- Air Academy: Ebmeyer (46-6-52), Danzo (5-0-6). Monarch: Oden (51-2-18).