‘REGIS CANCELS AGAIN!’ SHS hockey game postponed to Sunday | SummitDaily.com

‘REGIS CANCELS AGAIN!’ SHS hockey game postponed to Sunday

DEVON O'NEIL
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado

BRECKENRIDGE ” When you walked into the Stephen C. West Ice Arena on Saturday afternoon, you were not greeted by a high school hockey playoff atmosphere, but rather by a number of signs that proclaimed, “Regis Cancels Again!”

Further investigation revealed the root of such fliers, which were posted around the rink and around the county. After Summit High’s first-round state tournament game against Regis was called off Friday due to weather, it was rescheduled for Saturday afternoon.

However, according to SHS coach Bryan Smith and SHS athletic director Gretchen Nies, sometime midmorning on Saturday Regis officials alerted Summit officials that they would not be making the trip from Denver to the High Country.

“Regis is unable to come up due to the backlog of traffic on I-70,” Nies said in a phone message.

The game was subsequently rescheduled for a second time, and is slated to take place at 11 a.m. today, still at the Steve in Breckenridge.

Smith and his players, some of whom explained that “Regis is scared” when asked for an explanation as to why the game had been postponed again, did not believe the excuse was valid.

“I am so livid right now,” Smith said before taking the ice for a light practice in lieu of the game. “It’s ridiculous.”

According to the second-year coach, “It took Aspen 10 hours to get down to Denver yesterday. Steamboat, they went to Colorado Springs last night to make it happen today. Battle Mountain left at 11:30 today to get down there for a 6 o’clock game.

“In the CHSAA guidelines, it says you have to make a ‘reasonable attempt’ (to travel to a road game). To say that they don’t wanna sit in traffic, that’s not reasonable to me.

“We’re getting screwed by this, for lack of a better term,” Smith said. “It’s unfair.”

Summit, seeded No. 12 in the 16-team tournament (Regis is seeded fifth), is hosting the first and second round games due to a preseason site selection that has nothing to do with a team’s success.

Citing the CHSAA bylaws, Smith pursued a forfeit that would’ve sent the Tigers into a second-round matchup with No. 4 Cheyenne Mountain this morning, but by Saturday evening he’d given up.

Regis defeated the Tigers 4-2 when the two teams met during the regular season, at Regis. It was a chippy game in which the Tigers were whistled for 16 penalties, forcing Smith to sit out the next contest with an automatic coach’s suspension. The SHS leader said Regis representatives were unusually inhospitable during that game, which is why he concedes that this playoff game is more personal than most.

“I have a beef with this team and their coach and the whole entire thing,” he said, adding that he’s tried to track down the Regis’ coach’s contact info so they could be in touch, but he couldn’t find any.

“It’s such an emotional roller-coaster for the team,” Smith said. “The kids are going crazy, they’re bouncing off the walls.”

Whichever team comes out on top of today’s game will meet Cheyenne Mountain on Monday for a berth in the Frozen Four. Smith doesn’t feel there’s any question whom Cheyenne’s opponent will be.

“We’re gonna beat these guys up bad, we’re gonna run the clock on ’em,” he said, referring to a rule that mandates no clock stoppages if one team opens a 6-goal lead on another. “We’re gonna outcoach them and outplay them.”


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