Ice Hockey: Regis Jesuit can’t hold goal lead, falls to Monarch in state championship game rematch

Raiders fall to 4-2 in finals, watch Coyotes win first title

Regis Jesuit High School's Blake Drnec reacts after losing to Monarch 2-1 on Monday March 06, 2017 at Magness Arena . Photo by McKenzie Lange/Aurora Sentinel
Blake Drnec (7 on helmet) and his Regis Jesuit ice hockey teammates watch the championship celebration on the other side after the Raiders’ 2-1 loss to Monarch in the 2017 state ice hockey championship game on March 6, 2017, at Magness Arena. (Photo by McKenzie Lange/Aurora Sentinel)

DENVER | One year later, the Regis Jesuit ice hockey team got to experience the exact opposite of the feeling they had last season in winning the state ice championship.

The Raiders let a 1-0 lead in the second period  on a goal by Wyatt Verity, but coach Dan Woodley’s team yielded a pair of power play goals in the third period Monday night in a 2-1 loss to Monarch in the state final at Magness Arena.

Playing in the state championship game for the sixth time in the past 10 seasons, Regis Jesuit lost for just the second time in that span — the first came in 2010 — while the Coyotes finally broke through after losing in each of the past four state championship games, including a 6-1 defeat against Regis Jesuit in 2016.

Woodley’s team simply couldn’t find the back of the net against Monarch and goalie Logan Gorbitz other than once when Verity tallied in the second period and it came back to haunt the Raiders.

After successfully snuffing out three power play opportunities for the Coyotes in the opening two-plus periods, Regis Jesuit allowed goals to Connor Akerson and Brendan Van Haute in a span of 2:46 to fall behind 2-1. An adjustment on the power play passing made between periods paid off for Monarch.

Gorbitz stonewalled the Raiders the rest of the way, making the last of his 26 saves with just 12 seconds left.

Regis Jesuit finished the season 20-2 overall, with both losses coming to Monarch, which limited it to a total of one goal in the past two meetings, including a 3-0 victory in the second-to-last game of the regular season. The Raiders won the first regular season contest 4-2 Jan. 7.

Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or sports@aurorasentinel.com. Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel

2017 STATE ICE HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

MONARCH 2, REGIS JESUIT 1

Score by periods:

Monarch       0  0  2 — 2

Regis Jesuit  0  1  0 — 1

SCORING

Second period: Regis Jesuit — Wyatt Verity (Anders Erickson), 6:11

Third period: Monarch — Conner Akerson (power play) (Sal Pisciola, Brendan Van Haute), 1:51; Monarch — Van Haute (power play) (Pisciola), 4:37

Power play: Monarch — 2 for 5; Regis Jesuit — 0 for 3. Goaltending: Monarch — Logan Goblitz (27 shots on goal-26 saves); Regis Jesuit — Dillon Whalen (25 shots on goal-23 saves)