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Hockey: LA wins all three of its pool games in showcase

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By Mike Cote

The High School Hockey Showcase continues this morning at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink following a day and a half of pool play.The Los Alamos Hilltoppers are the top seed coming out of Pool A in the tournament and will face Santa Fe at 11:30 a.m.The showcase, bringing together eight teams from the New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League, started with Los Alamos facing Santa Fe Friday night. The eight teams played three games each during pool play, and four games are scheduled today starting with Cibola and Albuquerque Composite at 7 a.m.Los Alamos, for its part, downed Santa Fe’s Blue Jackets 4-1 in Friday’s opener. It came back to win a wild game with Rio Rancho 6-4 Saturday morning, then followed that up with a 5-3 victory over Eldorado.Friday against the Blue Jackets, the Hilltoppers tallied a pair of goals in the opening two minutes of the second period and cruised to the win.Following Ben Havemann’s goal with just over two minutes remaining in the first period, off an assist from Marina Meneakis, Zack Mang knocked in two goals in the span of a minute and 11 seconds to start the second period.Credit for the assist was given to Brad Picard coming off a power play. Mang’s first goal, also on a power play, was unassisted.Havemann would score the only goal of the third period, that coming with 4:33 left in regulation, off another Meneakis assist.Bryan Hughes of Santa Fe scored the Blue Jackets’ lone goal of the contest, that coming with under a minute to play in the second period. Hughes’ short-handed goal was assisted by Dustin Haraden and Scott Parry.Kyle Lupinski got the win in goal for the Hilltoppers, earning 12 saves. Aaron Patterson of Santa Fe finished with nine saves.In their morning game Saturday, the Hilltoppers outscored Rio Rancho’s Rams 4-2 in the first period and wouldn’t relent the lead for the balance of the contest.Mang earned a hat trick for Los Alamos in that contest, picking up two goals in the first period and another early in the third period.Neel Gupta opened the scoring for Los Alamos with his goal at the 10:39 mark of the first, that coming off an assist from Dylan Schreiber. Also scoring in the contest for Los Alamos were Havemann (2:22, first period) and John Baca (2:43, second period).Brad Picard was credited with three assists, two of those coming on Mang goals. Baca also picked up an assist, as did Chase Havemann.Dylan Stupka earned the win between the pipes, stopping 12 shots.For Rio Rancho, Erin Macheck substituted in midway through the first period, making 16 stops in goal.Elliot Pope also recorded a hat trick in that game for Rio Rancho, with Patrick Brewer picking up the other Rio Rancho goal. Brewer had three assists, with Philip Perkins and Michael Kaliber also getting credit for assists.In Saturday’s nightcap, Los Alamos topped Eldorado 5-3. Details weren’t available at press time.