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Cheyenne Mountain rides Hodson's hat trick past Coronado
Cheyenne Mountain has struggled to find the back of the net this season, and with his team trailing 2-1 entering the third period against Coronado, senior Garrett Hodson told the Indians to start putting shots on net Wednesday night.
Well, the Indians did not have to worry about that, as Hodson instead put Cheyenne Mountain on his back in the third period by scoring two goals in 1:12 to record his first high school hat trick and lead the Indians to a 4-2 victory over Coronado at Sertich Ice Center.
“That’s a once-in-a-lifetime (achievement),” Hodson said. “You don’t score when you don’t shoot. We were down 2-0. To get those goals it picked up everyone on the bench and it picked me up for sure.”
The Indians (2-3-1, 2-2) entered the Peak Conference game with the fewest goals scored (8) in the 15-team league before Hodson took over. After already scoring in the second period, the 5-foot-9 inch forward helped the Indians tie the Cougars (1-5, 0-2) at 2-2 2:21 into the third period when he put home a rebound following a shot from JD Maxwell on a 3-on-2 rush.
A little over a minute later Hodson gave Cheyenne Mountain a 3-2 lead with 13:27 remaining when he buried a shot from the right side of Coronado goalie Tyler Kamnikar (15 saves) off a beautiful pass from Keaton Allison. The junior set up the game-winning goal when he abruptly stopped behind the Coronado net and fed the puck to Hodson waiting in front of the Coronado crease.
Cheyenne Mountain coach Erik Austin credited his team’s ability to crash the net as the difference maker.
“Garrett really got to the net tonight, and we started crashing the net a little bit,” Austin said. “I was really impressed with our composure and we didn’t take any bad penalties. We handled being down. Guys were just kind of plugging away. They were working through a tough night and did their business.”
Coronado pulled Kamnikar for the extra attacker with 1:14 remaining and nearly tied the game with 34 seconds left when Max Lovato’s blue-line shot careened off the cross bar high above Indian goalie Grant Payne, who finished with 22 saves.
Doug Klopenstine sealed the game for Cheyenne Mountain with a long distance empty-net goal with 11 seconds remaining.
After Garrett Orth and Cody Johnson put Coronado ahead 2-0 five minutes into the second period, it was a tough loss for the Cougars, who have now dropped five straight. Orth scored on a wraparound 55 seconds into the period, and then Johnson, who also assisted on Orth’s goal, sprinted past two defenders at center ice and fired a shot into the top right corner with 12:10 remaining in the period.
“We just didn’t match their intensity,” said Coronado coach Greg Lehmann. “They were skating hard and going for rebounds.”
Hodson scored the first of his three goals with 7:27 remaining in the second period on a tic-tac-toe play. Maxwell grabbed a loose puck in front of the Coronado net and passed it down low to Klopenstine to the left of Kamnikar. Klopenstine then hit Hodson with a crisp pass backdoor for the goal.
Following the game, the Indians’ locker room was excited to enjoy the taste of winning after going winless in their previous three games.
“It feels great and as a team, now we’re building,” Hodson said. “Especially after that win everyone in the locker room is going crazy. They love it. We can get used to the feeling of winning and hopefully we can get more.”