LA hockey team earns win

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 The Los Alamos Hilltopper hockey team went 1-0-1 against the No. 2 team in the New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League last weekend.

The Hilltoppers nipped the El Paso Franklin Cougars 2-1 in the first of two meetings at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink Saturday and knotted the other one 4-4 Sunday.

El Paso’s two league teams have been dominant this season, but the Cougars haven’t been dominant against the Hilltoppers. The Hilltoppers have beaten them in two of their three meetings, including their first in January.

Los Alamos hosted both teams last weekend. El Paso Coronado, the league leaders, swept the two-game set in Los Alamos, taking the first contest 2-1 Friday night, then knocking off Los Alamos 6-4 in Saturday’s second game.

Despite the win over Franklin, Los Alamos slipped to the No. 6 spot in the league standings (8-8-1, 17 points). Los Alamos, as well as the rest of the league, is idle this weekend for Presidents Day.

The NMIIHL playoffs start Feb. 28 at Blades Ice Arena in Rio Rancho.

Coronado is still undefeated on the season (14-0-1) and Franklin is right behind the T-Birds (11-3-1) at the top of the league standings. Los Alamos currently trails Rio Rancho by two points for fifth place.

For the Hilltoppers, Zealand Walterscheid (.895 save percentage, 2.30 goals-against average) moved up to the No. 3 slot statistically among goaltenders in the league, while their other netminder, Isaac Dunwoody, is the sixth-best statistically (.862 save percentage, 2.92 GAA).