SUPERIOR — Just when the Monarch ice hockey team started to build one of its trademark winning streaks, the Coyotes' momentum came to a screeching halt on Saturday night.
A night after tying No. 3 Ralston Valley in a well-played game by both sides, the second-ranked Coyotes fell 2-0 to No. 7 Mountain Vista at home at Sport Stable. The Coyotes hadn't lost in their last five games leading up to Saturday night.
From start to finish, the Coyotes just didn't look like the team that had skyrocketed up the CHSAANow.com rankings after struggling early on in the season.
"We were just flat," Coyotes head coach Jimmy Dexter said. "I don't know if it was because last night we played a hard-fought game and we didn't have energy. I don't want to take anything away from Mountain Vista. They played hard. We just didn't play as well as we did last night."
The visiting Golden Eagles (8-5-1, 4-5-1 Foothills) struck first when Kaden Stewart scored with 19.1 seconds left in the first period. The Coyotes (9-4-1, 5-3-1 Foothills) fell further behind when Mountain Vista's Derek Nead scored on a power play last in the second period to give his team a two-goal cushion.
Coming up short during a feverish comeback attempt in the third period, the Coyotes couldn't find the net despite three power plays including a 5-on-3 advantage at one point. Late in the third period, they created several close opportunities that missed the goal by several inches.
"We definitely didn't play our best," Dexter said. "We were missing some guys who were out sick tonight and it definitely showed."
Coyotes goalkeeper Logan Gorbitz, who has a 5-3 record and a .913 save percentage on the season, made 22 saves on Saturday night.
The Coyotes remain in third place in the Foothills League. They will have to bounce back quickly if they want to stay there, as they have a road game against No. 4 Cherry Creek (9-4, 6-3 Foothills) on Wednesday.
"I just think we need to become more consistent," Dexter said. "We've had our ups and downs and we were on a little win streak but we need to try to bring that same intensity every night."
Mountain Vista 2, Monarch 0
At Sport StableMountain Vista (8-5-1, 4-5-1) 1 1 0 — 2 Monarch (9-4-1, 5-3-1) 0 0 0 — 0
Goals (assists) — Mountain Vista: Kaden Stewart (Josh Pusar), 16:41; Derek Nead (Harrison Golden, Rylin Quintana), 29:40.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Mountain Vista: Ben Reinholtz (51-0-25); Monarch: Lorgan Gorbitz (51-2-22).