CENTENNIAL — To say that the Monarch Coyotoes were looking forward to Saturday's matchup with Cherry Creek is a bit of an understatement.
Since the final horn sounded in last year's state championship game and the Bruins walked off the ice with the trophy held high after scoring a 3-2 triple-overtime victory over Monarch, the Coyotes had been itching for another shot.
But even they were a bit surprised by how intense they came out for the afternoon showdown between the two undefeated squads on the Family Fun Center's Hamilton rink. Top-ranked Monarch put two goals on the board before most fans even had settled into their seats, had a running clock going before the end of the first period and generally overwhelmed the third-ranked Bruins en route to a dominating 9-2 victory.
"I never imagined it would be 6-0 after one, of course, because (Cherry Creek) is a great team ," said Coyotes coach Jimmy Dexter, whose team improved to 9-0 overall, 7-0 in Foothills play. "I knew these guys were going to come out hard, they've been doing it all season and hopefully we're not going to stop."
Monarch forward Jake Young was unstoppable early on, scoring a hat trick in the first period including the game's first two goals.
"Ever since we lost last year, it was a really tough loss to take," said Young, who finished with four goals total. "We were just raring to get back on the ice this season to show that we belong in the championship game again and hopefully we can get the job done this time."
Despite the 6-0 deficit, the Bruins (10-1, 7-1) were able to find some life to start the second period. Cherry Creek scored a pair of quick goals and were on a power play with tons of momentum behind them. But the Bruins turned the puck over deep in their own end, and Monarch's Brandan Van Haute was able to get to it and center it to Young, who buried it for a short-handed goal and a 7-2 lead.
"(Van Haute and I) just know where each other are ," Young said. "He just hit me with (a pass) and I got lucky with a move, the goalie bit on it and I was just able to tuck it in on the far side."
"That short-hander by Jake was huge," Dexter said.
Besides the four goals by Young, Monarch got a pair of goals from Andrew Pickner and single goals from Drew Wagner, Mahito Henderson and Conner Akerson. Coyote goalie Andrew LeBlanc finished with 12 saves.
Monarch faces No. 4 Ralston Valley on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Apex Ice Arena.
Monarch 9, Cherry Creek 2
At Family Fun CenterMonarch (9-0, 7-0) 6 3 0— 9
Cherry Creek (10-1, 7-1) 0 2 0— 2
Goals (assists) — (First Period) Monarch: Jake Young (Blake Bride), 5th minute; Young (Van Haute), 7th minute; Andrew Pickner (Bride, Mason Peterson), 8th minute; Young (Van Haute, Yuta Young), 14th minute; Pickner (Brodie Wiener, Frankie Torrez), 17th minute; Conner Akerson, 17th minute; (Second Period) Cherry Creek: Daniel Rosales (Samuel Harris), 6th minute; Harris (Joe LoSasso, Daniel Taggart) 8th minute; Monarch: Young (Van Haute), 8th minute; Drew Wagner (Adam Tybox, Young), 11th minute; Mahito Henderson (Sam Hoffer, Gage Sealey), 14th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Monarch: Andrew LeBlanc (60-2-12); Cherry Creek: Kyle Englert (42-3-11), Scout Stalcup (17-6-14).
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