2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Another call for split in hockey classes

Published: February 22, 2014, 4:43 pm, by Scott Kaniewski

The divide between the haves and have-nots in state high school hockey was extremely evident in the first round of the state playoff tournament, prompting another call for the Colorado High School Activities Association to split the state hockey classification in two.

On Friday, two first-round playoff games were decided by 10 goals or more, another two were decided by six or more, three others by three or more. Only one first-round game was decided by one goal. The winners advanced by a combined score of 57-9.

And that disparity was among playoff teams, not the rest who missed out on the postseason.

Pine Creek put forth a decent showing against three-loss Cherry Creek, falling to the Bruins 6-2 at the Colorado Sports Center in Monument in the first round. 

Eagles coach Ken Martel was pleased with his team’s effort, but echoed what numerous hockey coaches around the state have said the last couple seasons.

“We’re a high school team,” Pine Creek coach Ken Martel said after the Eagles’ loss. “They’re (Cherry Creek) a district team. Until CHSAA makes changes, the district teams are the ones that win. That’s just the way it is. They’re just deeper. Our kids are very good for a single-school program.”

Among the blowouts, Cheyenne Mountain lost 13-1 to Monarch, Ralston Valley blasted Pueblo County 10-0 and Doherty was outscored 8-1 after taking the lead eight seconds in, falling to Regis 8-2.

Earlier in the week, CHSAA assistant commissioner Bert Borgmann told The Gazette that the organization was not looking at splitting the 29-team, unified classification anytime soon.

“Hockey is showing growth, but I would say in the foreseeable future, we’d probably not see adding another class,” Borgmann said.