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Ice hockey: Monarch ends drought over Regis

Sam Zis contributes goal, assist in big win over Raiders

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    CENTENNIAL, CO - Monarch's Sam Zis fights for the puck with a Regis Jesuit High School player, not identified, during a game on Friday at the Family Sports Center in Centennial.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    CENTENNIAL, CO - Monarch's Brennan Hill, at right, celebrates after scoring a goal during a game against Regis Jesuit High School on Friday at the Family Sports Center in Centennial.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    CENTENNIAL, CO - Monarch's Jay Alford moves the puck towards the goal during a game against Regis Jesuit High School on Friday at the Family Sports Center in Centennial.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    CENTENNIAL, CO - The Regis Jesuit High School boys celebrate a goal during a game against Monarch High School on Friday at the Family Sports Center in Centennial.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    CENTENNIAL, CO - Monarch's Brennan Hill shoots and scores a goal during a game against Regis Jesuit High School on Friday at the Family Sports Center in Centennial.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    CENTENNIAL, CO - Monarch's Kevin Maisells moves in on the goal during a game against Regis Jesuit High School on Friday at the Family Sports Center in Centennial.

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ENGLEWOOD — Sam Zis’ assist to set up Monarch’s go-ahead goal Friday night was nothing short of spectacular. His goal to pad the lead in the third — well, that was probably more fortunate.

No matter. It was all appreciated in a long-awaited win over Regis Jesuit.

Ethan Blackburn stopped 26 shots, Zis had a goal and an assist, and the Coyotes beat the Raiders 3-1 for their first win over the private school power in their past five meetings.

“We haven’t beat Regis in a while,” said Monarch coach Jimmy Dexter, whose team last beat Regis in the 2017 state championship. “So, it’s a big win for us.”

Monarch (6-2-1) came into Friday’s game at Hamilton Ice Rink at the Family Sports Center ranked fourth in the CHSAANow.com polls, while Regis (5-3-1) was at sixth.

The Raiders, ranked higher in RPI, sported a quick attack — and even forced an early 5-on-3 advantage — but mostly, their efforts were for naught.

Blackburn, who has allowed just 13 goals in 360 minutes, danced around the crease making key, and often spectacular saves. Jay Alford added a tying goal with 58 seconds left in the first period before Adam MacArthur put Monarch ahead for good in the second thanks to the helper from Zis.

Zis, the junior forward out of Boulder High School, added to the lead in the third on a backhand floater that somehow found the back of the net.

“It was weird, he just tried to get it on net with his backhand,” Dexter grinned. “It was just a floater that landed in the top corner.”

MacArthur made it 2-1 late in a power play midway through the second. With the Coyotes’ first chance with a man-advantage fading, Zis took a pass along the back boards before immediately squeezing a centering dart to MacArthur, who one-timed it past Regis goalie Gage Bussey for his second goal of the season.

Zis later made it 3-1 with 10:59 remaining on a flickering shot that sailed over Bussey’s right shoulder. The junior now has three goals and nine assists this season.

“It’s always a big game when we play top-10 teams that are in the top 10 every year,” Zis said. “When you get a win against them early in the season it builds some confidence for the rest of the year.”

William Laws scored on the final second of a power play in the first to put Regis Jesuit ahead. The Coyotes did well to stave off 1:02 of a 5-on-3 disadvantage before Regis made a late surge on the waning 5-on-4.

Monarch answered in the final minute of the period on Alford’s deflection goal. The Coyotes were swiveled around the net, setting up a final push before intermission when Brennan Hill ripped a shot that Alford misdirected for his first goal of the year.

“After that one goal, then after we tied it up, it really woke us up,” Blackburn said. “It was time to work harder and harder. Just keep pushing on.”

Monarch hosts Resurrection Christian late Saturday night.