• Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Monarch's Connor Akerson, left, and Oliver Diasabeygunawardena celebrate a goal during a game against Standley Lake on Friday in Westminster. Go to BoCoPreps.com for more photos.

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Monarch's Connor Akerson tries to score during a game against Standley Lake on Friday in Westminster.

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Monarch's Zack Given takes a shot on goal past a swarm of defenders during a game against Standley Lake on Friday in Westminster.



WESTMINSTER — The Monarch hockey team’s title defense continued to progress along the Coyotes’ desired track on Friday afternoon.

In their first away game of the season, the defending champion Coyotes improved to 2-0 on the young season with a 6-1 win over Standley Lake at the Ice Center at the Promenade. Though they haven’t yet faced any of the teams expected to threaten their repeat bid, the Coyotes believe they are building at a steady pace in just the first week of the season.

“It’s always good to get a couple wins under your belt and get some confidence going,” senior forward Connor Akerson said. “We had a little bit of a slow start today but we got rolling. It was just nice to get another win.”

Monarch’s slow start included a goal apiece from Akerson and Jacob Given that led to a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period. Two more goals, these coming from Kovalum Herdic and Akerson again, in the second period put the Coyotes up 4-0 to start the third. Liam Carvalho scored and Akerson completed this hat trick to give the Coyotes a 6-0 lead in the third.

Having outscored their first two opponents 19-1, the Coyotes were less than a minute away from their second shutout before Standley Lake’s Nathaniel Benton scored with 30 seconds left to spoil the early streak.

“It’s kind of a bummer we weren’t able to get that shutout,” Coyotes senior Leo Felt said. “I think we kind of let up there at the end, which isn’t something we want to be doing. We want to be focused on playing three periods at a time because little lapses like that will hurt us in bigger games. They played us really hard so you’ve got to give them props, and I thought their goaltender played outstanding today. It was just a good team win.

“We’re still learning about ourselves at this point and one thing I think is really going to help us out is our leadership. We’ve got guys who have been to the championship game and won, and guys who have been to the championship game and lost. That’s going to be key because we have guys who remember the feeling of losing and guys who have the experience of winning. So from a leadership and experience point of view, we’ve got a lot of depth in that area.”

Standley Lake goaltender Brayton Lasky made 36 saves to hold the Coyotes to six goals. Coyotes goaltender Dylan Sheets saved 16 of the 17 shots on goal he faced.

The Coyotes will face Mountain Vista on Saturday.

Brad Cochi: cochib@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BradCochi

Monarch 6, Standley Lake 1

At the Ice Center at the Promenade

Monarch (2-0) 222—6Standley Lake (0-1) 001—1

Goals — Monarch: Akerson 3, Given, Herdic, Carvalho; Standley Lake: Benton.

Assists — Monarch: Young 2, Akerson 2, Carvalho, Sandoval, Krebill, Felt, Diasabeygunawardena.

Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Monarch: Sheets (51-1-16); Standley Lake: Laskey (51-6-36).