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, Valor & Creek Hockey Rank Nationally

Quinn Rudnick
Senior goalie Jack Ryan attempts to block a Regis shot on goal during a game on Feb. 2.

Colorado has become a powerhouse state for ice hockey in the last decade. The Colorado Avalanche won the NHL Stanley Cup in 2022, the University of Denver men’s team won the NCAA Frozen Four the same year and in 2017; now, at the high school level, recent seasons have also been great ones.

Colorado’s three best high school hockey teams in the state are Valor Christian, Regis Jesuit, and Cherry Creek. And beyond the state level, these teams are ranked in some of the top teams nationally; coming in at 20th, 1st, and 84th respectively.

“We have a talent rich team, heavy with seniors. They’re battle tested,” Creek Head Coach Jeff Mielnicki said. “We’ve had so many games where we’ve won in the last period, held on to a one goal lead, or gotten a shutout.”

After multiple seasons of ranking below the fifties, these placements have served as a major marker for Creek’s success. While Valor has remained dominant, consistently ranking in the top twenty for the last four years, Creek’s and Regis’ success has waivered, due to many losses to rivals like Denver East, Monarch, and Chaparral.

Senior Charlie Keating talks with a teammate while waiting for the third period to start during a game against Regis on Feb. 2. Creek lost 7-1. (Peter Philpott)

“I feel that this Regis team is special because of the diverse amounts of upperclassmen and lowerclassmen,” Regis sophomore goalie Marc Brousseau said.

For Creek players, sportsmanship and strong team bonds have also played a large part in their success over the season. Despite playing tougher games against schools like Regis, the team believes they can still band together and move towards the playoff season.

“All the boys [have] a lot of passion for the sport and we really work together well as a team,” Creek senior center and left winger Eric Burggraf said. “So I think just the teamwork and the bond we have really creates a good environment on the ice.”

The three schools peaked in the final weeks of January: Creek was 10th, Regis was 5th, and Valor was 1st in national rankings. Regis took both of them down with adjacent victories, with Creek suffering a crushing 7-1 defeat on Feb. 2, and Valor falling 3-1 the next day. “I think everybody had a bad game, you just have to reflect on it,” Creek senior goalie Jack Ryan said after the loss.

Quinn Rudnick

The three schools all made it to CHSAA’s semifinal. Creek and Monarch lost to Valor and Regis respectively on March 2, and Regis defeated Valor 3-1 to take the state championship on March 5. Regis’ rankings shot up to 1st after winning the championship, while Valor and Creek dropped in the standings because Regis defeated them both in their playoff run.

Players like Burggraf, senior center and left winger Dominic Suchkov, and senior center and right winger Daniil Korobeynikov have driven success on offense. All three rank in the 20s of Colorado’s top point-scorers, and in the top 150 nationally. Burggraf ranks 17th in assists. Korobeynikov and Suchkov rank 16th and 18th respectively in goals nationally.

“We really have a deep bench of players,” Mielnicki said. “I feel comfortable putting anybody on the ice.”
As for goaltending, all three schools have talent. Valor senior Trudeaux Coffey and Regis’ Brousseau are 4th and 5th respectively in the national ranks for goals against average (GAA). Creek’s Ryan is 29th.

“I feel that this season has been special for me personally because I have been able to emerge myself in a winning culture at the varsity level,” Brousseau said. “Having the greatest teammates a sophomore could ask for has really made this season something to remember.”

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About the Contributors
Quinn Rudnick
Quinn Rudnick, Junior Editor-in-Chief & Sports Editor
Hello, my name is Quinn Rudnick, and I am a junior at CCHS - and this is my third year on staff at the USJ. This year, I am the Junior Editor-in-Chief and Sports Editor. I hold a strong passion for both journalism and photojournalism, and intend to pursue a career in political journalism. As a journalist, I strive to present information to the student body and beyond in a factual and digestible fashion. 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 snowboarding.
Peter Philpott
Peter Philpott, Managing Editor & Assistant News Editor
Hey there! My name's Peter, I'm a sophomore, and I'm the USJ's managing editor and assistant news editor. 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. 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.

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