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The Los Alamos Hilltopper ice hockey team went 1-2 in the Taos Showcase Tournament this weekend, but its win there was a big one.
Los Alamos knocked off El Paso (Texas) Franklin 3-2 in the second game of its three-game set at the tournament last weekend.
The Hilltoppers, along with all the other New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League teams, took part in the tournament, hosted by the Taos Ice Tigers. There was also one interloper at the tournament, the Odessa (Texas) Jackalopes, which walloped the Hilltoppers in their opener.
Nevertheless, the Hilltoppers (5-3) grabbed the upset win over Franklin, which until Saturday’s match-up had only lost one game on the season, that against its cross-town rival El Paso Coronado.
Tanner Kennedy tallied the game-winning goal for Los Alamos against Franklin and Tristen Roach finished with two assists in the contest. Between the pipes, Isaac Dunwoody stopped 17 shots in 19 chances, outdueling Kelsi Byrd of Franklin, who saved 16 of 19 Los Alamos shots.
At the tournament, the Hilltoppers faced all three teams there from Texas. Odessa blanked the Hilltoppers 6-0 Friday night and Coronado dropped the Hilltoppers 5-2 in their Sunday morning contest.
The Jackalopes, a traveling midget-level team — which consists of high-school aged players, like the NMIIHL teams — who asked to be included at the Taos tournament, got off 40 shots to just 7 for the Hilltoppers. Jason Moore had 2 goals and 2 assists to lead the Jackalopes to the win.
Despite having to stay on his toes throughout, Zealand Walterscheid still managed to stop 34 shots in goal.
Odessa would actually win all three of its games, also topping both the El Paso teams.
Against Coronado, the top team in the NMIIHL, Los Alamos was outshot 30-19. Coronado’s T-Birds got goals from five different players in the win.
Cory Schramm had a goal and earned the assist on the other goal in Sunday’s loss.