The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

Regis Thrashes Creek Varsity Hockey in 7-1 Loss: See Moments Here

Creek+junior+center+and+right+winger+Austin+Katz+%28%2320%29+and+Regis+senior+forward+Reece+Peterson+%28%2325%29+stand+on+the+edge+of+the+face+off+circle%2C+awaiting+the+puck+drop.+Both+scored+a+goal+in+Friday%E2%80%99s+game%2C+which+went+strongly+in+Regiss+favor.+We+got+on+our+heels+early%2C+we+got+behind+three+nothing+early+in+the+game+and+we+just+couldnt+find+that+energy%2C+Head+Coach+Jeff+Mielnicki+said.+
Peter Philpott
Creek junior center and right winger Austin Katz (#20) and Regis senior forward Reece Peterson (#25) stand on the edge of the face off circle, awaiting the puck drop. Both scored a goal in Friday’s game, which went strongly in Regis’s favor. “We got on our heels early, we got behind three nothing early in the game and we just couldn’t find that energy,” Head Coach Jeff Mielnicki said.

Boys’ varsity hockey went into Feb. 2’s matchup against Regis Jesuit at Family Sports Center with hopes of gaining a place from third in the 5A metro division standings and solidifying their national rank at tenth. Instead, they were met with devastating defeat.

It wasn’t a normal defeat, though: A 7-1 blowout, which Creek Head Coach Jeff Mielnicki called a “one-sided affair.”

Senior goalie Jack Ryan (#31), who stood on the receiving end of the Regis attack, couldn’t pin the defeat on any one aspect of the team. “I don’t want to blame it all on the defense, I don’t want to blame it all on the offense, I don’t want to blame it all on me,” Ryan said. “I think everybody had a bad game tonight.”

Every Regis goal was scored by a different player. But players like senior defenseman Jake Crowell (#27, three assists) and senior forward Reece Peterson (#25, one goal, two assists) led the Regis offense to a not-so-narrow victory.

“They played strong,” Ryan said. “They had a lot of chemistry. This is a tough day for our whole team.”

But Ryan wasn’t completely dejected. “We just had a rough game all around,” he said. “I think it’s something to reflect on and get ready for next week.”

Mielnicki had a similar outlook. “This is an example of the team knocking you down. You got to find a way to…fight back,” Mielnicki said. “What it does is it tests how much you value this game.”

The one moment of hope for Creek came with junior center and right winger Austin Katz’s (#20) goal in the second period, which brought the score to a momentary 3-1, before Regis returned the score to a three goal-deficit.

“Obviously, it felt good,” Katz said. “The game wasn’t really that bad at the time.”

A major factor in the loss was penalty time; Creek allowed four power plays to Regis’s two. Armed with those eight minutes of four-on-five player hockey, Regis converted two goals.

After the loss, Creek now has three opponents remaining before the postseason, two of which they have already defeated. First up: Denver East, who they beat 5-2 on Jan. 20, then Monarch, who they beat 4-3 on Dec. 2, and Resurrection Christian, who lies 26th in Colorado standings. vs. Creek’s 3rd. Both Mielnicki and his players took this loss as a way to prepare for the valuable matches coming soon.

“The team that makes the least amount of mistakes is going to have the most success and I think we got exposed a little bit tonight,” Mielnicki said. “The closer you get to the playoffs, the more important the games are, and the teams tighten up their offensive and defensive zones.”

The team’s top assister, senior center and left winger Eric Burggraf (#8) was glad to get the loss over with, with time left in the regular season. “We know what we did wrong and we know what to improve on,” Burggraf said. “I think it’s great that we got this out of the way this early on.”

Mielnicki has full confidence with his players as they get to the stressful playoffs.

“These are mentally tough kids,” he said. “They didn’t expect a result like this. [But] They work hard. I [have] full faith in them.”

Katz doesn’t care about the stats. He’s seen his team’s energy and chemistry firsthand. “We’ll bounce back,” he said. “I think we’re still the best team in the state.”

See moments from the game below.

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  • Senior goalie Jack Ryan (left, #31)) and junior defenseman Cooper Huang (#10) line up on the rink before the national anthem plays.

  • Creek junior center and right winger Austin Katz (#20) defends the puck against Regis senior forward Edison Barnes (#51) towards Regis’ crease in the first period.

  • Creek senior defenseman Billy O’Grady (#15) blocks a Regis player while Creek’s goal was under pressure during the first period.

  • Regis attackers celebrate their first goal, which was scored just minutes into the game. “We got behind early and often. We couldn’t answer today,” Creek Head Coach Jeff Mielnicki said.

  • Senior goalie Jack Ryan (#31) unsuccessfully attempts to block a shot on goal where Regis scored, bringing the score to 1-0 in the first period.

  • Senior center and right winger Daniil Korobeynikov (#28) moves the puck against Regis senior forward Reece Peterson (#25), who scored a goal and collected two assists in the game.

  • Creek and Regis players face off during the first period behind the boards. Players and coaches often use the glass around the rink to mark plays and scores during practice, leaving a trace of strategy around the area.

  • Junior center and right winger Austin Katz (#20) skates against a wall of Regis defensemen, a few possessions before scoring Creek’s only goal.

  • A referee separates a fight between Creek senior center and right winger Sam Switzer (#5) and Regis junior forward Parker Brinner, in which four other players from both sides became involved.

  • Senior goalie Jack Ryan (#31) holds his head in his hands after Regis scored their second goal, bringing the score to 2-0 in the first period.

  • Sophomore defenseman Owen Kulczweski (#26) moves to defend a Regis player heading towards Creek’s crease in the first period.

  • Creek senior center and right winger Sam Switzer (#5) faces off against Regis sophomore forward Alex Warot (#16).

  • Senior center and left winger Mario Liles (#12) walks off the ice after the first period, which ended in Regis’ favor at 3-0. Many players left the ice dejected and hoping to come back in the second period.

  • Junior center and right winger Austin Katz (#20) celebrates his goal with senior center and left winger Conner Wagner (#9) close behind. “It felt good,” Katz said. Creek would not score a second goal.

  • Regis players march from their locker room to the rink to start the third period. In the third, they would score their fifth, sixth, and seventh goal to secure a strong victory. “We just weren’t working our systems,” senior center and left winger Dominic Suchkov (#16) said.

  • A spectating junior varsity player talks to Creek players waiting for the zamboni to exit the ice and the third period to begin. JV would play their game directly after the varsity game.

  • Senior center and left winger Eric Burggraf (#8) crushes a Regis player into the boards in an effort to gain possession.

  • Creek junior center and right winger Austin Katz (#20) attacks Regis senior forward Reece Peterson (#25) for the puck as Creek senior center and right winger Kristian Hauswirth (#13) flattens Regis senior forward Edison Barnes (#51).

  • Creek senior goalie Dylan Eldridge (#1) reacts after Regis scores their sixth goal. Eldridge played for a short time in the third period.

  • Regis sophomore forward Alex Warot (#16) rushes to his teammates after scoring the seventh goal for the Raiders of the game.

  • Creek senior center and left winger Conner Wagner (#9) embraces Regis freshman goalie Easton Sparks (#33) as the teams shake hands.

  • A dejected sophomore defenseman Owen Kulczweski (#26) returns to the locker room after leaving the ice. “We’ll bounce back,” Creek junior center and right winger Austin Katz said.

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About the Contributors
Peter Philpott
Peter Philpott, News Editor & Outreach Coordinator
Hey there! My name's Peter, I'm a junior, and I'm the USJ's News Editor and Outreach Coordinator. I believe that the first amendment is incredibly important, and as journalists we have the right and the duty to uphold it. I am very passionate for news reporting, from small, local issues, to major politics or systemic change topics. This is why I love political/breaking news reporting, and one day I hope to be an investigative journalist. I also enjoy artistic photography in my free time. My position as Outreach Coordinator gives me the opportunity to connect to other newspapers, businesses, and families in the community to grow our reach and get our coverage in the hands of more people. I play trumpet and mellophone and I am part of Creek's Marching Band. I'm enthusiastic to inform this school on the happenings of our community, from Capitol Hill to the quad. Also, check out my column, Peanuts and Cracker Jack, where I talk about in-depth baseball!

To contact me by email, access my portfolio, or view my photography Instagram account, click the respective buttons below.

Quinn Rudnick
Quinn Rudnick, Editor-in-Chief
Hello, my name is Quinn Rudnick, and I am the USJ's Editor-in-Chief. I am a senior at CCHS - and this is my fourth year on staff at the USJ. I hold a strong passion for both journalism and photojournalism, and intend to pursue a career in politics and law. As a journalist, I strive to present information to the student body and beyond in a factual and digestible fashion. The importance of journalism is based in allowing the public to understand what's happening around them, so that is what I strive to do. I write a lot about local and global politics, as well as local theatre and events around the school. You can find me at a lot of Creek sports games, fueling my passion for sports photography and reporting. Outside of the USJ, I follow Formula One racing, the Nuggets and the Avs, and I love being outside, whether that's on hikes, or by snowboarding and mountain biking. 

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