Prep area hockey team preview capsules

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Air Academy (Pinnacle Ice Hockey League)

Coach: Andrew Marshall (Second year coaching)

Returning Starters: Sr. Forward Dalton Giesbrecht, Jr. Forward Gavin Gray, Jr. Defenseman MeiLan Haberl, Sr. Forward Ethan Kalbfleisch, Sr. Forward Aaron Ortiz

Other top athletes: Sr. Grant Lichtenberg, Jr. Forward Gavin Garrett-Johnson

Outlook: "The opportunity to improve from last year. All players have improved as individuals so I'm excited to see how they gel as a team," Marshall said.

Notes: Air Academy is a team of half returners and half new players.


Rampart (Highlands Ice Hockey League)

Coach: Joshua McIntosh (16th season coaching)

Returning Starters: Sr. Forward Tyler Montoya, Sr. Forward Jimmy Adams, Sr. Forward Trevor Jesse, Sr. Goalie Chase Allen, Sr. Defenseman Garret Cunfer, Sr. Defenseman Nate Purewal

Other top athletes: So. Forward Jordan Jeffords, Jr. Forward Braden Overholt, So. Forward Ethan Meyer, So. Defenseman Dean Seifert, Jr. Forward Alex Walton, Jr. Forward Cameron Sykes

Outlook: "We have veteran leadership. Most of our best players have been playing or developing with us for 3 to 4 years. This could be a good team this year, we have Kyle Martinaties returning from AAA. It remains to be seen if we do the details right to win games, but from a talent standpoint we are as solid as we've been in years," McIntosh said.

Notes: 3 new players transfer/move to Rampart. Braden Overholt F Junior (Standley Lake), Cameron Sykes F Junior (Pine Creek), Austin Leppo D Junior (Minnesota), "They have augmented our lineup nicely."


Cheyenne Mountain (Peak Ice Hockey League)

Coach: Erik Austin (Seventh season coaching)

Returning Starters: Sr. Defenseman Ryan Smith, Jr. Forward Chayse Heffler, Sr. Forward Trevor Taylor

Other top athletes: Jr. Forward TJ Farrell, Jr. Forward Max Schultz, Jr. Defenseman Cam Sauer, Jr. Forward Evan Carter

Outlook: "After graduating 11, we are excited by our strong core of returning players with some key young additions," Austin said.


Lewis-Palmer (Foothills Ice Hockey League)

Coach: Kevin Margarucci (12th season coaching, first as head coach)

Returning Starters: Sr. Defenseman Tanner Colson, Sr. Forward Ben Kleinsmith, Jr. Defenseman Josh Pierce, So. Forward Garrett Jansky, Jr. Forward Jack Filer

Other top athletes: So. Goalie Reece Colson, So. Goalie Addison Zeich, Jr. Forward Jack Sheffield, Sr. Forward Parker Bock, Jr. Defenseman Jared Piggot, Sr. Defenseman Cody Overholser, So. Forward Peyton Garner, So. Forward Alex Pierce

Outlook: "We are a very young, energetic, hard-working group. Being a first year head coach having a lot of young talent to develop and having our seniors lead the way is exciting," Margarucci said.


Palmer High School (Highlands Ice Hockey League)

Coach: Kevin Moore (Third season coaching)

Returning Starters: Sr. Forward Andrew Rush, Sr. Forward Kyle Moore, Sr. Forward Haven Poyner, Sr. Forward Eric Olson, Jr. Forward Brandon Herd, Goalie Sean Bolduc

Other top athletes: Jr. Forward Zach Swain, So. Forward Alex Wells, So. Forward Xavier Sweatman, So. Forward Brendan Walters, So. Defenseman Drake Winch, So. Forward Gunnar Degenhardt, Fr. Forward Isaias Cerda, Fr. Forward Will Stone

Outlook: "With some of our skilled upperclassmen returning and new energetic talent coming into this season, the outlook is good for Palmer as we work to build a cohesive and competitive program," Moore said.

Notes: "We are currently without a talented freshman early in the season due to cancer treatment, the team is standing strong with him in their support and hopeful for a speedy recovery!"


Pine Creek (Peak Ice Hockey League)

Coach: Ed Saxer (Third season coaching)

Returning Starters: Trevor Porter, Parker Gregory, Alex Brooks, Casey Brooks

Outlook: "The conference we play in makes it tough for us. Every game is going to be a challenge. What is exciting is we are getting better as a school. More kids are trying out and the quality of players are very good. Having kids excited about playing high school hockey is our goal," Saxer said.

Notes: Just two seniors on this team.


Woodland Park (Highlands Ice Hockey League)

Coach: Chad Mason (32nd season coaching, first here)

Returning Starters: This is Woodland Park's first year. Returning starters from other teams: Sr. Forward Colton Ivory, Sr. Defenseman Nate Bradley, Sr. Forward Darwin Edie, Sr. Defenseman Alex Houghland, Jr. Forward Lou Levy, Jr. Forward Colton Hudson, Jr. Forward Cuinn Miller, So. Defenseman Madison Henggeler

Other top athletes: Jr. Goalie Bobby Costello, So. Goalie Garrett Richardson, So. Forward Brenden Bowman, Fr. Defenseman Trace Taranto, Fr. Forward Parker Taranto, Fr. Defenseman Tyler Baldus, Fr. Forward Ewan Miller, Fr. Forward Jacob Thorpe

Outlook: "We have a great bunch of hard-working student-athletes, very talented, unselfish players. They play for each other the school and the community," Mason said.

Notes: Three pairs of brothers play on this team.


Coronado High School

Coach: Mark Tabrum (8th season coaching, 4th at Coronado)

Returning Starters: Sr. Forward Andrew Burton, So. Forward Cole Booker, Sr. Forward Ian Wark, Jr. Defenseman Trevor Gordon, Jr. Defenseman Jonah Henry, Sr. Goalie Chris Kelly, Jr. Forward Logan Dineen

Other top athletes: So. Forward Jack Cintron, Jr. Defenseman Dylan Riggs

Outlook: "We are a young team as we only have three seniors. We are going to improve each and every day. Hopefully, we have a few returning players that will be able to put the puck in the net. I look forward to watching the players grow and develop into a difficult team to play against," Tabrum said.

Notes: Grant Dion is Coronado's assistant coach. Dion played at the University of Denver in the '80s and was an Edmonton Oiler draft pick.

Liberty High School

Coach: Brian Straub (8th season coaching, 4th as head coach)

Top athletes: Connor McIlhany, so., forward; Reid Magnusson, sr., forward; Cameron Lattemore sr., defense; Mikey Wilson sr., defense; Ryan Eichsteadt, sr., defense 

Outlook: "We are looking to make the playoffs for the third year in a row in what is going to be one of the toughest conferences in the state. Our team has another big senior class of kids who have achieved a lot of success in their four years at Liberty. They potentially could be in the playoffs three out of their four years on the team," Straub said.

Notes: After graduating a strong senior class, Liberty will look to younger players to step in. "We have two very talented young women who will be filling these roles in Julia Dessart and Madi Morton," Straub said.

Note: Teams not listed did not report