Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer
SUPERIOR — Monarch senior Cam Piggott’s goal streak remained intact Monday afternoon, pushing his current scoring trend to four games.
It wasn’t enough to topple the state’s current goliath, though.
Connor Smithburger and Alex Larchenko scored 32 seconds apart in the second period for Denver East, Connor Hasse then had a hat trick in the third, and the CHSAA Class 5A No. 1 Angels beat the third-ranked Coyotes 6-2 to push their winning streak to a classification-best 10 games.
“When we had our chances, we didn’t finish,” Monarch coach Jimmy Dexter said. “We got to be better there. We just made too many mistakes against a really, really good team.”
Down three goals, Piggott ripped a shot from inside the circle in the second and beat East goalie Noel Friedman glove-side for his sixth goal of the season and his fifth over the last six games.
With the deficit back to three in the third, Monarch (12-3) made it 4-2 on Vincent Felt’s marker with 6:45 remaining.
But that’s as close it would get.
Denver East (14-1-1) staved off three power plays in the game, including two at the end of the second when Monarch had seemingly grabbed momentum after Piggott’s goal.
Friedman then helped ice things with a few nifty saves early in the third, including a denial of Piggott on a breakaway. Hasse added all three of his goals in the final 9:05.
“A lot of the little things we didn’t execute,” Dexter said. “And we have to, to beat those guys.”
Sean Farrar stopped 33 shots for the Coyotes, who had their six-game winning streak snapped. Piggott and Felt each had a goal and an assist. Ben Wiener assisted on both of their goals.
Monarch’s three losses this season have come to top-four teams in 5A. It fell to No. 2 Regis Jesuit before the holiday break, then to No. 4 Valor Christian on Jan. 21.
“I totally think we’re up there with Valor, Regis, Denver East,” Piggott said. “The 6-2 (score), I don’t think was the result our play showed. And our goalie played a good game. He made the first and second save a lot of the time, but they were there for that third shot that happened to go in. If we gain a little toughness in front of our net, it’ll be a closer game and we can come out on top against these teams.”
Smithburger finished with a goal — his 13th of the year — and two assists. Benjamin Kluza scored on the team’s only power play chance in the opening minutes and Hasse scored three times to give him 18 goals on the season.
Friedman finished with 29 saves.
“I like our chances going into the playoffs, for sure,” Dexter said. “We continue to get better. It’s just those little things we still have to execute. Again, to good teams, we have to execute better. But I think we’re real close.”
Monarch will face Standley Lake Friday night at the Ice Centre at the Promenade in Westminster. Puck-drop is scheduled for 7:45 p.m.