In this unique Colorado Prep Hockey League season where any contest could be canceled or postponed at a moment's notice, every game has added value — especially for Heritage.
The Eagles have played just six CPHL games this season after the high school closed for several weeks due to COVID-19 and a string of coronavirus-related cancellations have relegated the senior-laden squad to a monotonous regiment of practice.
Twenty-four hours after their showdown with Valor Christian was canceled, Heritage finally found itself in a meaningful matchup against Atlantic Conference foe Castle View. Both teams entered Saturday’s matinee at South Suburban Ice Arena in Centennial with just one conference loss.
Sabercats sophomore goalie Brayden Johnson kept pace with Schoffman the remainder of the game, stopping 16 shots in the final period and five in overtime to finish 42 saves.
“It was just two goalies standing on their heads, it was really fun to watch,” Olson said.
Castle View began the season winning two of its first six games, but the Sabercats are on a midseason in which they have lost just once in their last seven games, including Saturday. It’s a confidence-booster for the team in its inaugural season at the Tier 1 level.
“Before this [season], we were the flyover school. [People would say] ‘Oh, let’s play Castle View. We’ll thump them. It was an easy win,’ ” Olson said referring to past year’s competition. “Now we’re not an easy out. I respect the way Jeremy Sims coaches his teams. They grind, and in years past, they would have steamrolled us. But we’re starting to compete against these teams that have routinely been ranked high in the state.”
Sims was encouraged by his team’s performance — a squad still seeking to see results on game day after a long pause from competition.
“Once they see the success and doing the things we’re asking and working together, that’s when we’ll see the true explosion of growth,” Sims said. “At this point, we’re still working to get there. In the third period, we showed a lot of heart and grinded out the game. For us to tie is a step forward. I think they’re a good team.”
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