10 Shot – HS Hockey – Monarch at RV

HS Hockey – State Championship

This was not what I had planned for hockey.  I had followed Ralston Valley all season, shooting all but one or two home games at the APEX as they entered the playoffs undefeated.  I decided that instead of shooting the 5A boys Great Eight and Final Four for basketball this year, I would cover the Frozen Four and Finals at Denver Coliseum and get a chance to maybe cover history instead.

Then, that all changed for me.  As you know, I am the caregiver for my 89 year old mother.  Well, Friday morning, she became sick.  It appeared to be a touch of the flu, but with her blood thinners, she had some excessive bleeding.  Anyway, she was dehydrated, and not feeling good at all, so my sister and I got her to her doctor first and then to the ER.  They admitted her to the hospital and by the time we got her into a room, the RV game was over and the second game had started.  The doctors decided to keep her in the hospital a couple days, so with my brother and my sister staying with her, I was able to sneak away to shoot the final game.

The final started out weird.  Monarch came out on the ice first, followed by the Mustangs.  Ralston Valley’s starting goalie, Zach LaRocque, a junior, led the team onto the ice and when he stepped onto the ice one of his skate blades broke in half.  So, he was taken off the ice and with everyone from former players and his dad, and a number of others helping to fix the broken skate, back up James Madok found himself starting the game.  Madok did well, not allowing a goal until there was a break in play that allowed LaRocque onto the ice.

Now the Mustangs were whole.  The Mustangs were able to net 3 goals and Monarch was able to sneak the puck by LaRocque once in the first period.  Both teams were scoreless in the second period.  So, Ralston Valley entered the final 17 minutes of the season leading Monarch 3-1.  Near the end of the game, Monarch pulled their goalie, giving them an extra attacker, and they paid the penalty.  Ralston Valley took a 4-1 lead with an empty net goal and held on to that to remain undefeated at 23 wins and zero losses or ties.  Not just undefeated, but they also defended the State Title they won last season.  Back to Back Champions, undefeated season.  What a ride.

Congratulations to Monarch for surviving the Frozen Four and making it to the final.  A 19-2-2 season is a great accomplishment. And Congrats to the UNDEFEATED Ralston Valley High School Mustangs Hockey Team!  Way to go boys!

Oh, and on Sunday, the day after RV won the title, mom came home from the hospital.

Here is my 10 Shot from the game.

10 Shot - HS Hockey - Monarch at RV

March 1, 2014: Ralston Valley Mustangs forward Kyle Valdez (16) rushes down the ice after the puck in the CHSAA State Championship Game against the Monarch Coyotes at the Denver Coliseum

10 Shot - HS Hockey - Monarch at RV

March 1, 2014: Monarch Coyotes Cameron Taggart (42) controls the puck in front of the Ralston Valley Mustangs bench in the CHSAA State Championship Game at the Denver Coliseum

10 Shot - HS Hockey - Monarch at RV

March 1, 2014: Monarch Coyotes DJ Burnett (13) attempts to keep the puck away from Ralston Valley Mustangs forward Tyler Morpurgo (87) in the CHSAA State Championship Game at the Denver Coliseum

10 Shot - HS Hockey - Monarch at RV

March 1, 2014: Ralston Valley Mustangs forward Chris Rockers (8) controls the puck in the CHSAA State Championship Game against the Monarch Coyotes at the Denver Coliseum

10 Shot - HS Hockey - Monarch at RV

March 1, 2014: Ralston Valley Mustangs forward Greg Dyba (7) tries to flick the puck past Monarch Coyotes goalie Ian Oden (33) in the CHSAA State Championship Game at the Denver Coliseum

10 Shot - HS Hockey - Monarch at RV

March 1, 2014: Ralston Valley Mustangs forward Chris Rockers (8) looks for a shot in the CHSAA State Championship Game against the Monarch Coyotes at the Denver Coliseum

10 Shot - HS Hockey - Monarch at RV

March 1, 2014: Ralston Valley Mustangs forward Cody Noel (6) brings the puck up against Monarch Coyotes Walker Harris (9) in the CHSAA State Championship Game at the Denver Coliseum

10 Shot - HS Hockey - Monarch at RV

March 1, 2014: Ralston Valley Mustangs goalie Zack LaRocque (31) sets up for a Monarch Coyotes shot in the CHSAA State Championship Game at the Denver Coliseum

10 Shot - HS Hockey - Monarch at RV

March 1, 2014: Ralston Valley Mustangs goalie Zack LaRocque (31) throws his glove and stick into the air after defeating the Monarch Coyotes 4-1 to capture the Mustangs second straight CHSAA State Hockey Championship at the Denver Coliseum

10 Shot - HS Hockey - Monarch at RV

March 1, 2014: The Ralston Valley Mustangs celebrate wining the CHSAA Hockey State Championship after defeating the Monarch Coyotes 4-1 at the Denver Coliseum

These photos and more from this game can be viewed and purchased at MaxPreps.  And most of Ralston Valleys games, taken by myself or other MaxPreps photographers can be found HERE.

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