LOVELAND – After playing for sixty-two-minutes and thirty-seven-seconds, the Cherry Creek Bruins scored the game’s winning goal finishing the 2015 ice hockey state championship game 3-2 against the Monarch Coyotes.
It took a while for either team to score. Monarch’s goalie, Hamps Akesson, saved 18 attempts made by Cherry Creek by the end of the second period. However, with forty seconds left in the period, Cherry Creek scored the first goal of the game.
Not long into the third period, the Bruins scored again and was on the cusp of being champions with a 2-0 lead on the Coyotes.
Unfortunately for the Bruins, they committed two penalties toward the end of the third period, and the Coyotes seized their opportunity at a comeback. Monarch pulled their goaltender to give themselves a 6 on 3 advantage. With three minutes left in the period and just seventeen seconds apart, Monarch’s defenseman Mattijs Ossorio and forward Blake Bride both scored, resulting in a tied 2-2 score and overtime.
“[Scoring] felt good. I mean, it gave us a little spark,” Ossorio said. “It made us have a chance. Then Blake [Bride] buried the second one.”
After winning in the sixth overtime during the Frozen Four last Thursday night, Cherry Creek won, again, during the third overtime on Saturday against Monarch resulting in a 3-2 state championship win.
In their previous trips to the state championships, Monarch lost to Ralston Valley 5-1 and 4-1, respectively. On Saturday, even though the Coyotes fell short again, it was closer than in previous years.
“I’m just so proud of these guys,” said Monarch’s coach, Jimmy Dexter. “I didn’t think we’d be here at the beginning of the season, losing 17 kids, and these guys are so young. We have four seniors on the team. I’m so proud of the way they played and they never quit. Obviously, we want to be on the other side of [the scoreboard] three years in a row, but with this team, these guys, will be back. I’m so proud.”