Summit High hockey extends streak heading into state playoff home game
Tigers host Castle View 6 p.m. Tuesday at Stephen C. West
BRECKENRIDGE — Playing shorthanded Saturday night, Summit High School hockey coach Joey Otsuka and the Tigers coaching staff had a feeling senior Max Bonenberger would play well with an increased workload. The coaches said there was energy among the team during the pregame that the all-state candidate and quiet leader of the Tigers team would put forth one of his best games of the year on the eve of the Colorado high school hockey state tournament.
“We definitely knew that he was going to have a game,” Otsuka said after the 6-2 Summit win over Standley Lake, “because this is his last senior regular season game. He’s a player. He had three goals and an assist and the guys that he’s playing with right now with Ranger Stone and Davis Emery, it’s a good supporting cast. That line all season has been very productive for us.”
Bonenberger put together another hat trick Saturday night to improve his season marks to 26 goals and 17 assists — an average of seven points per game — as Summit closed out the regular season with a four-game win streak and a record of 14-5.
The win cemented Summit’s positioning for the 24-team Colorado High School Activities Association single-elimination playoff. As the No. 13 seed — the top seed of any mountain school — the Tigers will open the playoffs at 6 p.m. on Tuesday night, Feb. 25, at home at Stephen C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge versus Castle View.
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After one win over their first 13 games to start the season, Castle View has bounced back with a three-game winning streak to round out the year, including a 3-2 win over a Mullen team that defeated Summit 5-2 earlier in the season.
As for Saturday night’s regular-season finale, Bonenberger and Stone assisted on the first Summit goal of the game at 11:30 of the first period, scored by Emery. Summit then took firm control in a second period where Finn Theriault and Mark Bellavance scored while Bonenberger found the back of the net twice, including in a short-handed situation at 14:14 of the second period. The senior all-state candidate added another shorthanded score, assisted by Theriault, in the third period.
“Mark Bellavance is an incredibly impressive offensive player, and we can’t wait to see what he can do in playoffs,” Otsuka said. “And Nick Davis and Zach Carleton probably played half the game, which is way above their normal limit.”
In net, with senior Jake Mallory out due to an illness, Marco Vogelbacher proved his mettle stopping 26 of 28 Standley Lake shots.
“With tonight’s performance, Marco he’s definitely ready to go in case Jake isn’t on Tuesday night,” Otsuka said Saturday night. “And then Ryley (Cibula) stepped up in a huge way although he got a penalty, he stepped up in the shoes of a leader today. I think today he set the tone for the forward group.”
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