Pine Creek's Clark, Pueblo County's Root score in bunches as all-star hockey seniors take final bow

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Photo - Local area High School Seniors play in the CSML All Star Hockey Game at Honnen ice rink Friday March16, 2018. Photo by Jeff Kearney.
Local area High School Seniors play in the CSML All Star Hockey Game at Honnen ice rink Friday March16, 2018. Photo by Jeff Kearney.

There was no practice. There wasn’t much of a game plan. The seniors-only CSML all-star hockey game Friday at Honnen Arena was more about memories.

“We just let them go,” Rampart coach Josh McIntosh said. “We told them to move their feet, call for the puck and have some fun.”

Each team put 38 shots on goal and the “home team” in white, coached by McIntosh, left with a 9-7 win.

The home team’s Dixson Root of Pueblo County and away team’s Brandon Clark of Pine Creek scored natural hat tricks in succession early in the game.

The away team climbed out of a 5-1 hole when Clark scored his third 13 seconds into the second period to tie it. Then the home team took the lead for good.

McIntosh had Rams goaltender Chase Allen and defenseman Garrett Cunfer, but Rampart forwards Tyler Montoya and Trevor Jesse suited up for the other side.

“They were backchecking and doing a lot of good things. It was annoying,” McIntosh joked. “We told our guys we needed to make sure they didn’t score.”

Cheyenne Mountain defenseman Ryan Smith, playing for the home team, was tracking Indians teammate Drew Connaughton on the other team as well.

“I know his moves. I can anticipate what he’s going to do a little bit,” Smith, who netted the white team’s first goal and added a handful of assists, said.

It was a bittersweet night for Smith, who closed a long and happy chapter.

“It’s been my life for 14 years,” he said. “Some kids are going to go play onwards, I’m not. This was a nice sendoff.”