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Teen Pulse Staff Writer
When most people think of hockey, the image of two teams fighting for control of the puck is usually the first image that’s conjured up, followed by bone-jarring hits, busted teeth and killer slap-shots. To most, it’s just a game.
For the girls on the New Mexico U-19 team, hockey is more than just a game. They recently proved that when the team traveled to Denver for the state championships. Because there’s no other girls teams in the state, they play in the Colorado league.
The group had a good season and finished second in their division, just one point behind first place. The team, comprised of girls from around the state, includes: Shannon Morelock from Albuquerque; Brigid Quinn, Lillian Miles and Haley Pryor from Santa Fe; and Chandler Art, Orli Shlachter, Ellen Kress, Arielle Owens, Deidre Freer, Cory Carnes, MK English, Leslie Cort and Ariane Oro from Los Alamos.
Last weekend, the girls competed against three other teams: Vail, Summit and the Colorado Jr. Eagles. They blazed through Vail and Summit on Friday, winning 4-1 and 4-0 respectively.
On Saturday, they played the Jr. Eagles, losing in 1-0. However, the team ended up with enough points in the tournament to win a berth in the championship game Sunday against none other but the Jr. Eagles.
During the regular season, the two teams met twice with the Jr. Eagles winning one and New Mexico winning the other. Coming into the championship game Sunday, both teams were preparing for an intense battle. New Mexico was the first to strike on a pass from Morelock to Brigid Quinn, who fired it in for the goal. That goal would be the only tally of the first period.
The Eagles came back in the second, with a goal at the beginning of the period, to tie the game at one. Then, with 10 seconds left in the second period, Morelock found Pryor in front of the net, who scored for New Mexico to make it 2-1.
All they had to do was hold off the Eagles for 12 minutes and they would win the championship. The team did just that, and as the clock counted down, it looked like they would surely win, but with one minute and 32 seconds left, the Eagles scored on a fluke goal that was kicked in by the goalie in an attempt to save it.
The game went into overtime. The first overtime period was neck and neck, with chances coming from both sides of the ice, but after five minutes no one had scored. The game was destined for double overtime. With three minutes remaining, Art got a penalty for New Mexico. They would now have to battle the Eagles with a man down. They successfully killed the penalty, but just 42 seconds later, the Eagles fired a shot into New Mexico’s zone.
It deflected off someone’s stick and sailed high into the air, then bounced right in front of the net and made it in. The Eagles took home the championship banner.
Coach Tim Morelock told his New Mexico team after the game. “You punched them in the nose right out of the gate and kept them on their heels all game. That was the best team effort I have seen since I have been coaching. I will always remember the effort that 13 overachieving girls showed on the ice that day.”