Hockey: Toppers win three straight

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By The Staff

The Los Alamos Hilltopper hockey team survived a tight contest at home Friday night, then took a couple of blowout victories Saturday.
The three victories by the Hilltoppers this weekend, against St. Pius X, La Cueva and Cleveland, put the team back into second place in the New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League standings, a half-game ahead of Albuquerque’s OutKast.
Los Alamos topped St. Pius Friday at the county’s ice rink, 2-1, then thumped both La Cueva, 6-1, and Clevleland 6-0 to round out the weekend.
Playing in its first home game since a week before Christmas, Los Alamos scored the lone goal of the final two periods with just 4:10 remaining in regulation to knock off St. Pius.
In a late power-play chance Tyler Thorn scored off an assist from Chris Owens to give the Hilltoppers the victory.
Los Alamos held a 1-0 lead with Owens scoring unassisted at the 3:31 mark of the first period, but St. Pius’ MacKenzie Smith tied the score less than 90 seconds later. Neither team cracked the goal until Thorn’s late game-winner.
Against Cleveland, Tim Branch earned four of Los Alamos’ goals. Elijah Walterscheid opened the scoring for Los Alamos in the first period and Brett Snow put Los Alamos up 2-0 before Branch took over the contest.
Against La Cueva, both Thorn and Chase Havemann earned a pair of goals, one of Thorn’s being a short-handed goal late in the contest.
Owens opened the scoring on a power play early in the first period and Jade Castello scored early in the second period to put the Hilltoppers up 2-0.
Goaltender Devin Grider stopped 11 of 12 shots against La Cueva and 26 of 27 against St. Pius. Cleveland managed just one shot throughout that game.