The Fairview Knights scored four goals in the fourth quarter and did not allow the Monarch Coyotes to get on the board to complete an 11-10 comeback win on Friday.
By virtue of the tiebreakers, Fairview has the head-to-head win over Monarch but lost the head-to-head with Rocky Mountain in conference play. Despite that, the Knights will still have the rights to the Front Range League title and will at least share of it with two other teams.
“It’s awesome being out here with the boys and scoring some goals,” Fairview’s Tucker Catlin said. “The other team fought hard, I’ll give them that. They were a great competitor, but it was a blast to win the league. This is something I have always dreamed about.”
Fairview only led twice in the game and had to come from behind most of the night. The game started with Monarch scoring five of the first seven goals in the first half, but the Knights would respond with four consecutive goals to take a 6-5 lead into the halftime break. Catlin scored the last two goals of the half with a pair of sniper shots from distance.
“The whole team was staying up and wanting this win,” Catlin said. “If your team wants to win, you’re going to get one… You just have to work harder and have that mentality of working the hardest.”
The other lead came in the fourth quarter. Before that, Fairview had to play two consecutive minutes down a player due to a penalty in the third quarter with the game tied 6-6. Ben Riecken scored with the man advantage to put Monarch back in front, but the Coyotes were unable to add to the lead. In addition to only allowing the one goal, Fairview was able to tie the game in the final seconds of the penalty with a goal from Dillon Dickinson-Tooman.
Playing in a zone, the Fairview defense managed to clog the passing lanes and make things difficult for the forwards to attack against them during the key stretch.
“We did what we do every day in practice,” Fairview’s Harry Pfeiffer said. “We just applied it to the game today and it lucked out for us.”
Monarch still managed to score three goals to end the quarter at even strength and took a 10-7 lead into the fourth, but the final quarter was dominated by Fairview and helped by the number of penalties down the stretch that forced the Coyotes to play shorthanded and in the defensive zone.
Tommy Miller scored the first goal on the power play and was followed by Dickinson-Tooman and Catlin each scoring on even strength after a penalty was taken to tie the game. Dickinson-Tooman scored on another power play with 5:30 remaining to put Fairview up for good.
“Down the stretch, we took way too many penalties and it killed us,” Monarch coach David Auday said. “We went up 10-7 and then literally lost our composure a little bit. We went man down too many times and gave them too many opportunities, and we paid for it. I think we had like nine penalties in the second half, so when you put a good team like Fairview into an advantage like that, you’re going to lose.”
A few offensive breaks did not go Monarch’s way in the final stretch as well with a pair of shots hitting the crossbar that could have kept them ahead or even in the final minutes.
Both teams play a pair of nonleague games to close the regular season next week. Fairview will look to build off its biggest win of the season against Dakota Ridge and Thompson Valley as they prepare for the postseason.
“It was a huge win for us,” Pfeiffer said. “We’re glad we got the league title, and now we’re looking forward to the playoffs.”
Monarch, who saw its 11-game win streak come to an end, eyes a bounce-back and an important lesson learned as it also tries to secure a postseason bid.
“When we watch the film, there are a lot of things we can definitely improve and work on,” Auday said. “We still have a good opportunity to make the playoffs. We still have two games left, so we have to figure out a way to bounce back.”
Brandon Boles: firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @BrandonBoles
Fairview 11, Monarch 10
At Fairview High School
Monarch (11-2, 4-1) 3 2 5 0 — 10
Fairview (8-5, 4-1) 1 5 1 4 — 11
Goals — Monarch: Drew Tausan 3, Braeden Wimer 2, Ben Riecken 2, Robbie Brazanskas, Nathan Mueller, Quinn Jacobs; Fairview: Tucker Catlin 4, Dillon Dickinson-Tooman 3, Tommy Miller 2, Chase Brusher, Jared Mizner.
Assists — Monarch: Wimer 2, Tausen 2, Brazanskas, Jacobs, Bryce Mayemura; Fairview: Miller 2, Catlin 2, Brusher, Mizner, Liam O’Brien.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Monarch: Eli Korac (48-11-11); Fairview: Brooks Catlin (48-10-8).