2013 HS Hockey – Standley Lake at Ralston Valley

In a pre-season game earlier in the season, Standley Lake defeated the Mustangs at the Promenade for one of the few losses for Ralston Valley all season.  On Wednesday night, the Gators came to the Mustangs home ice to try to do it again.

February 6th, 2013: Standley Lake Gators forward Ryan Brooks (37) tries to get away from Ralston Valley Mustang defender Brendan Aleksivich (22) in their game at the Apex Ice Arena in Arvada, Colorado

February 6th, 2013: Standley Lake Gators forward Ryan Brooks (37) tries to get away from Ralston Valley Mustang defender Brendan Aleksivich (22) in their game at the Apex Ice Arena in Arvada, Colorado

The fans seating area was packed with kids and parents from both schools and it was a rocking place for a Wednesday night.  Ralston Valley jumped on the scoreboard first, but by the time the first period was over, the visiting Gators scored to tie the game at 1-1.

February 6th, 2013: Standley Lake Gators forward Kint Thede (21) watches as Ralston Valley Mustang goalie Zach Larocque (31) in their game at the Apex Ice Arena in Arvada, Colorado

February 6th, 2013: Standley Lake Gators forward Kint Thede (21) watches as Ralston Valley Mustang goalie Zach Larocque (31) in their game at the Apex Ice Arena in Arvada, Colorado

In the second period, the play amped up.  Both teams were out for the win and both wanted it bad.  Ralston Valley wanted to avenge their earlier loss to the Gators, and Standley Lake wanted to take two this season from the Mustangs.  Pucks were flying everywhere.

February 6th, 2013: Standley Lake Gators forward Mitch McEwan (8) attempts to split the Ralston Valley Mustang defense in their game at the Apex Ice Arena in Arvada, Colorado

February 6th, 2013: Standley Lake Gators forward Mitch McEwan (8) attempts to split the Ralston Valley Mustang defense in their game at the Apex Ice Arena in Arvada, Colorado

During a face off near the goal closest to me something that scared me to death happened.  As the face off happened, the puck took flight, headed right towards my head.  I started to flinch, but it was too late.  It was headed straight at my head.  I closed my eyes and braced for impact.  This was going to hurt.  I felt an impact on my forehead, but it was not as painful as I expected.  Then I felt something on the side of my head.  What happened was the puck was indeed headed straight at my head, but instead of hitting me square in the forehead, it hit the Pocket Wizard on my camera that I was using to trigger my strobes for the game.  It ripped the Pocket Wizard right out of the hot shoe of my camera, and what impacted my forehead was just the wireless transmitter instead of the puck.  The puck got deflected and rolled down the right side of my head and across my ear.  It grabbed my hat and all but pulled it off of my head.  Talk about lucky….Pocket Wizard saved my life.   And it survived and so did my camera!  Thank goodness I never switched to the newer, smaller Pocket Wizards.  My MultiMax will be with me for the rest of my life, even after it finally dies.

February 6th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustang defender Victor Lombardi (12) brings the puck around the goal in the game against Standley Lake at the Apex Ice Arena in Arvada, Colorado

February 6th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustang defender Victor Lombardi (12) brings the puck around the goal in the game against Standley Lake at the Apex Ice Arena in Arvada, Colorado

After my close call with the Grim Reaper, Ralston Valley took a 2-1 lead and held onto that to the end of the 2nd period.  This put the Mustangs in the drivers seat going into the third period.

February 6th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustang forward Darius Maes (53) makes a move with the puck against Standley Lake in their game at the Apex Ice Arena in Arvada, Colorado

February 6th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustang forward Darius Maes (53) makes a move with the puck against Standley Lake in their game at the Apex Ice Arena in Arvada, Colorado

But, while Ralston Valley was in the drivers seat, Standley Lake stole their ride and found the back of the net as a puck slowly trickled across the line after the Mustang goalie mad a number of great saves.

February 6th, 2013: Standley Lake Gators defender Chris Huitt (12) picks up the puck behind the goal in the game against the Ralston Valley Mustangs at the Apex Ice Arena in Arvada, Colorado

February 6th, 2013: Standley Lake Gators defender Chris Huitt (12) picks up the puck behind the goal in the game against the Ralston Valley Mustangs at the Apex Ice Arena in Arvada, Colorado

It was now tied at 2 all, and it was going to take a 4th period, overtime to decide who the winner would be.  What a game.  Overtime, near death experience, we even had a penalty box attendant be asked to leave the box by an official….and a cute female head referee.

February 6th, 2013: Standley Lake Gators goalie Tyler Goff (33) tries to make a save in the game against the Ralston Valley Mustangs at the Apex Ice Arena in Arvada, Colorado

February 6th, 2013: Standley Lake Gators goalie Tyler Goff (33) tries to make a save in the game against the Ralston Valley Mustangs at the Apex Ice Arena in Arvada, Colorado

Overtime went to Ralston Valley as the Mustangs netted the game winning goal.  The team stormed off the bench onto the ice and piled on top of each other celebrating the win over the rival Standley Lake Gators.  What a game!

February 6th, 2013: Bodies pile into the Ralston Valley goal after Mustang goalie Zach Larocque (31) failed to stop a shot by the Standley Lake Gators in their game at the Apex Ice Arena in Arvada, Colorado

February 6th, 2013: Bodies pile into the Ralston Valley goal after Mustang goalie Zach Larocque (31) failed to stop a shot by the Standley Lake Gators in their game at the Apex Ice Arena in Arvada, Colorado

To view and purchase photos from this game, please visit my Maxpreps gallery.

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