Hilltoppers fall in first two games of season

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By The Staff

The Los Alamos Hilltopper hockey team took a pair of losses to open its 2011-12 season.
Los Alamos played a doubleheader Saturday in the Albuquerque area. It dropped Saturday morning’s contest 2-0 to the Eldorado Eagles, then was knocked off 6-1 by the Cibola Cougars in the nightcap.
Los Alamos was the final New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League team to start the season. Most other teams in the league play in indoor rinks and don’t have to wait for the colder temperatures the Hilltoppers have to. Los Alamos also was unable to use the county’s ice rink due to the closure of West Road and cleanup after the flooding prevention steps taken.
Eldorado’s Dakota Orth, statistically the top-ranked goaltender in the NMIIHL, made two big stops during Saturday morning’s game, against Tyler Thorn and Jason Martinez, to keep the Hilltoppers off the scoreboard.
Chandler Art scored the lone goal of the doubleheader for the Hilltoppers against the undefeated Cibola Cougars. Art’s goal came with the Hilltoppers playing two skaters down due to penalties.
“All in all, it was a stellar effort, considering it was the opening weekend of (the Hilltoppers’) season,” head coach Joel Kress said. “As is typical for us at the beginning of the season, the defense looks solid, but on offense we need to work on shooting the puck and rebounding.”