SUPERIOR - Logan Gorbitz is human, so of course he checked out his team's ice hockey schedule once it was released a couple of months ago.
He's a sophomore at Monarch and naturally he looked for when the Coyotes would play Regis Jesuit. It's the current top rivalry in the game and Gorbitz was the losing goalie in a defeat on Jan. 7.
But on Friday night, Gorbitz turned into a wall and blanked the defending state champion Raiders. Monarch earned a rugged 3-0 victory at the Sport Stable, halted Regis Jesuit's 24-game winning streak, probably secured home ice for next week's playoffs and, yes, if there is such a thing in sports, turned in a statement game.
And they did it in an outing in which they didn't necessarily own the play.
"Yeah, we'll take it," Coyotes coach Jimmy Dexter said. "We got some bounces, (the Raiders) hit a post and Logan played really well between the pipes. That was huge. (The Raiders) definitely carried the play more than we did, but we'll take it."
They can take it because Gorbitz was strong as well as spry. His anticipation was good as was his reaction. And he was ready.
"It's what you work for in practice," he said about getting the start. "The rivalry is definitely there, so you look at the schedule and you're pumped. I wanted this game."
Now 12-4-2 overall, 8-3-2 in the Foothills League, Monarch got a break 2 minutes, 27 seconds into it when the puck came free to defenseman Jarod Krebill via Brendan Van Haute near the red line. He unleashed a low shot through a maze of players and the Coyotes led 1-0.
"That one had eyes," Dexter said.
A mini-barrage in the second period all but sealed it. Winger Oliver Diasabeygunawardena - maybe the toughest name to spell on the prep docket - was set up by Mitchell Ganem and Leo Felt at 1:23 of the second period, then Buck Guthrie stole a pass and went in alone for a backhander that made it 3-0 at 3:16.
The Monarch defense and Gorbitz did the rest. Despite being outshot 22-13, the Coyotes handled every challenge, settled for icing the puck when in trouble and scrapped end-to-end with the Raiders (16-1-0, 12-1-0).
"Once we had a three-goal lead, we were sitting back a bit," Dexter said. "We gave up too many odd-man rushes in the second period, so we tried to avoid that ... (the Raiders) are a great team and (coach) Dan Woodley does a great job with those guys."
Monarch goes again on Saturday, 6:50 p.m., against Dakota Ridge.
As usual, Gorbitz, who got a break when Regis Jesuit hit a post in the second period and brilliantly stopped a 2-on-1 in the final seconds of the middle period, will find out if he or Reese Kelly will get the start.
Such is the life of a goalie, who sometimes gets what he wants.
"It's good we won this one going into the next game," Gorbitz said. "Yeah, definitely, we hadn't beaten them in a while. We were all there, focused and ready to go."
Monarch 4, Regis Jesuit 0
At Sport StableRegis Jesuit (16-1-0) 0 0 0 — 0 Monarch (12-4-2, 8-3-2) 1 2 0 — 3
Goals (assists) — Monarch: Jarod Krebill (Brendan Van Haute), 2:27; Oliver Disabeyunawardena (Mitchell Ganem, Leo Felt), 18:23; Buck Guthrie (unassisted), 20:16.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Regis Jesuit: Dillon Whalen (20-3-6), Max Harlan (31-0-7); Monarch: Logan Gorbitz (51-0-22).