Cheyenne shut down

By SCOTT PRATER - THE GAZETTE Updated: February 26, 2006 at 12:00 am • Published: February 26, 2006
When David Rogers scored 77 seconds into Saturday’s game at World Arena, Cheyenne Mountain looked to be well on its way to the school’s 15th high school state hockey title — except Peak to Peak goaltender Greg Borchers got in the way. Rogers’ goal was the only score Cheyenne Mountain could manage in Peak to Peak’s 3-1 state title-clinching victory. In 14 of the past 31 seasons Cheyenne Mountain players have skated circles around the rink, raising the golden trophy high as they celebrated. This year, Cheyenne Mountain players watched in dejection as the Peak to Peak players took turns skating with the trophy. “It’s all due to that No. 18 — he’s the reason they won this,” Cheyenne Mountain coach Mike Provenzano said of Borchers and Peak to Peak. “We stormed him in that third period and he kept everything out.” The top-seeded Indians, who averaged seven goals a game this season, sent 17 shots at Borchers during a wild third-period barrage. “I don’t know how I stopped some of those, I really don’t,” Borchers said on the ice after a celebratory skate. “Alex Lofthus, the best goal scorer in the state was sending unbelievable stuff at me and it was scary, but thank God nothing passed that line.” Lofthus, Rogers, Collin Royce, Dylan Johnson and Justin Spray all slapped good chances, but Borchers always had an answer. “I must have looked up at the clock a thousand times in those last five minutes,” Borchers said. “It went by so awfully slow.” The Lafayette-based school is 17-6. Playing just its second season of high school hockey, and with a roster full of players from at least four Denver-area schools, No. 7 seed Peak to Peak took charge in the second period with a pair of goals. The first came on a turnover in the Cheyenne Mountain zone. The puck flipped off the boards, around a defenseman and to the neutral zone, where Matthew Gooderum picked it up and raced down to confront Cheyenne Mountain goalie Sam Garcia one-on-one. Garcia looked as though he had smothered the initial shot but the goal judge called it good with 9:30 left. Peak to Peak scoring ace Josh Wrede gave his team the lead three minutes later when he settled a bouncing rebound in front of the net, then sent a wrist shot past Garcia. It was stunning turn of events for Cheyenne Mountain (21-1-1), which hadn’t trailed in the playoffs before that point. The Indians entered the third period undaunted. The third period has been their best all year, and their fans knew it, too. Spray shoveled a rebound off of a rebound at the net, but Borchers gloved it. Lofthus sent a backhander on net on the power play, but Borchers gloved it. Royce whistled a rocked from the left wing blue line, Borchers gloved that too. “We really pressured him, we just couldn’t put any in,” senior captain Royce said. “You’ve got to give it to him (Borchers), I mean, we clearly outplayed them but they deserved to win because he stood on his head for them.” Garcia made several big saves on Peak to Peak breakaways to keep his team alive in third period as well. With his team exhausting all efforts, clearly fatigued and with nothing to show for it, Provenzano eventually was forced to call a timeout and pull Garcia in the final minute. Peak to Peak played the last minute well though and Gooderum iced the game with an empty-net goal with 15 seconds left. “I think people looked past us,” Peak to Peak coach Jim Moffett said. “That worked to our advantage. Cheyenne likes that long pass to a forward past a defense, but we have one of the most underrated defenses in the state and I don’t think they got a guy behind our defense all night.” Cheyenne Mountain finished with a 30-14 shot advantage. Borchers finished with 29 saves and a state championship trophy. CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0250 or
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