2013 Colorado High School Hockey Sweet 16 Standley Lake at Valor Christian

High school hockey started to come to a close for me as Apex Ice Arena hosted two games for the Sweet 16 and one Elite 8 game.  The first game was between the Standley Lake Gators and the Valor Christian Eagles.  The winner of this game would face the winner of the Bishop Machebeuf and Ralston Valley game that followed immediately afterwards.

February 22, 2013: Arvada, Colorado - A Valor Christian hockey player with the puck in the game against Standley Lake High School at the Apex Center in Arvada

February 22, 2013: Arvada, Colorado – A Valor Christian hockey player with the puck in the game against Standley Lake High School at the Apex Center in Arvada

From the start of this game, you could tell it was going to be a good game.  It went back and forth in the first period, but both teams were held scoreless.  Valor Christian was playing much better than when I had seen them earlier in the season.

February 22, 2013: Arvada, Colorado - Standley Lake Gators forward Mitch McEwan controls the puck in the game against Valor Christian at the Apex Center in Arvada

February 22, 2013: Arvada, Colorado – Standley Lake Gators forward Mitch McEwan controls the puck in the game against Valor Christian at the Apex Center in Arvada

After the first break, the action picked back up.  Again it was back and forth.  The officials were calling a good game.  They kept the game going, not calling weak penalties (it is the playoffs after all), and they never let the game get out of hand for them.

February 22, 2013: Arvada, Colorado - Valor Christian senior forward Ryan Close comes off the boards with the puck in the game against Standley Lake High School at the Apex Center in Arvada

February 22, 2013: Arvada, Colorado – Valor Christian senior forward Ryan Close comes off the boards with the puck in the game against Standley Lake High School at the Apex Center in Arvada

Both teams found the back of the goal once in the second period and we were all tied up at one goal apiece going into the second intermission.  This was going to be a great third period.

February 22, 2013: Arvada, Colorado - Both Standley Lake (green) and Valor Christian fought hard in their Sweet 16 game at the Apex Center in Arvada

February 22, 2013: Arvada, Colorado – Both Standley Lake (green) and Valor Christian fought hard in their Sweet 16 game at the Apex Center in Arvada

The third period started and we were right back at it.  Some very close shots on goals going both ways, but no one was finding the back of the net.  We were starting to look at an overtime.  And that is exactly where we went with the score tied at 1 goal each at the end of regulation.

February 22, 2013: Arvada, Colorado - Standley Lake Gators forward Jeff Moffat flies down the ice with the puck in the playoff game against Valor Christian at the Apex Center in Arvada

February 22, 2013: Arvada, Colorado – Standley Lake Gators forward Jeff Moffat flies down the ice with the puck in the playoff game against Valor Christian at the Apex Center in Arvada

In the overtime period, Standley Lake took over.  The 5th seed Gators would be the only team in the first round of the playoffs to beat the higher seed team.  Lake got a golden goal to win the game and the Gators bench emptied as the team flooded the ice to celebrate the win.

February 22, 2013: Arvada, Colorado - Standley Lake Gators forward Ryan Brooks takes the puck past a diving Valor Christian player in the playoff game at the Apex Center in Arvada

February 22, 2013: Arvada, Colorado – Standley Lake Gators forward Ryan Brooks takes the puck past a diving Valor Christian player in the playoff game at the Apex Center in Arvada

I had shot the Gators twice before.  Once at the Promenade against Columbine and once here at Apex against Ralston Valley.  The Columbine game did not really excite me.  Columbine did not make the playoffs, and the Gators did not look the great to me.  But, the Gators had beaten the Ralston Valley Mustangs once, in a preseason non-confrence game at the Promenade, but Ralston Valley took the regular season matchup at the Apex.

February 22, 2013: Arvada, Colorado - Even with a 3 on one advantage at times, the Standley Lake Gators were able to pull out the 2-1 victory over Valor Christian in their playoff game at the Apex Center in Arvada

February 22, 2013: Arvada, Colorado – Even with a 3 on one advantage at times, the Standley Lake Gators were able to pull out the 2-1 victory over Valor Christian in their playoff game at the Apex Center in Arvada

I had seen Valor Christian play Ralston Valley early in the year, and that was the game that I decided that Ralston Valley was the team to beat for the State Championship as they routed the Eagles 6-2, scoring 5 goals in the first period alone.

February 22, 2013: Arvada, Colorado - Standley Lake Gators goalie Vincent Case let just one puck get past him in the 2-1 Gators victory over Valor Christian in their playoff game at the Apex Center in Arvada

February 22, 2013: Arvada, Colorado – Standley Lake Gators goalie Vincent Case let just one puck get past him in the 2-1 Gators victory over Valor Christian in their playoff game at the Apex Center in Arvada

So, it would be up to the next game to see who Standley Lake would face.  Bishop Machebeuf or Ralston Valley in a rubber match.  To view and purchase photos from this game, please visit Maxpreps.

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