Columbine, Chatfield skate to tie

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By Joe Vaccarelli

One player can make all the difference in the world. The Columbine Rebels hockey team found that out Jan. 10 as they took on Chatfield at Edge Ice Arena.

Columbine’s senior goalie Jordan Garkow was a brick wall, stopping 46 shots, single-handedly leading the way to a 2-2 tie. But all those saves almost were not enough, as the Rebels had to rally late in the third period to battle back from a two-goal deficit.

Garkow finally slipped up midway through the third period, allowing a power-play goal to Chatfield junior Blake Speechley off a rebound and a goal deflected off his own teammate that was awarded to Charger sophomore Trevor Knoll with just over seven minutes remaining in regulation.

All seemed lost for the Rebels, but two goals, one by Corey Kline, the other by Josh Wright, coming 59 seconds apart with 1:06 remaining in third period, tied the game and sent it into overtime.

The Rebels (4-8-1), with new life and momentum, skated evenly during the eight-minute extra period and fought off a barrage of last second shots by the Chargers that almost let them escape with the win.

Rebel head coach Jeff Marten praised his team’s fight, something he brought up in his pregame speech.

“Before every game I have a word or phrase that we try to focus on. Today’s word was fighter,” Marten said.

Marten also gave very high marks to his goaltender who had this game in his sights even before the season started.

“Jordan came up to me at the beginning season and said ‘coach, of all the games, I want this game’ and he came to play tonight,” he said

Garkow had an interesting explanation for his high level of play.

“I drank some orange juice. That seems to help for some reason,” he said.

He also added that he felt his team was fortunate to come out with a tie and praised his defense for strong play in front of him.

For the Chatfield Chargers (6-4-1), it was disappointing to come out of the game with a tie. They thoroughly dominated the first two periods, out-shooting the Rebels 16-7 in the first period and 15-5 in the second, but came up empty in both periods.

In the third, they were able to finally break through on the power play and later added a goal and things were looking good. But Columbine’s two goals in the final two minutes sent the game into overtime and Garkow stayed hot for the Rebels as the two teams skated to a tie.

Chatfield coach Bradd Markusch was able to look at some of the positives after the game.

“To be honest, we probably had some of the best periods we had the entire season. The Columbine goalie was tough, he blocked a lot of shots, we have to give him credit,” he said. “We’re gonna take this as a positive game and go forward.”

Columbine was almost able to avenge an earlier loss to the Chargers, a 6-2 beating in the first game of the season, but since they were outshot 48-29 in this one, they’ll take the tie.

Next up for the Rebels is a game versus Summit on Jan. 16. Summit will also face the Chargers Jan. 17 for Chatfield’s next game.