Doherty Hockey Dominates

The Spartans totally turned around their program, going undefeated in the regular season.


Cassie Miller

The Spartans celebrate a huge late-night win over Pine Creek.

JP Ullrich, Guest Writer

With an unsure start to the season, the Doherty Spartan Hockey team had a lot of making up to do from the previous 1-18 season. To kick off their season, the Spartans took a bus up to Big Bear Ice Arena for the first challenge of the season, Castle View (4-14-1). The Spartans came out with a 3-3 tie and that sparked a lot of talk about their failure of a season last year. “The Boys were not satisfied, I know the dedication these boys have in them. They will not go down without a fight,” said head coach Will English, and boy was he right with the Spartans coming out the very next day with an 11-1 win over city rival Palmer (3-14-2).


The next two games were hard-fought victories beating Woodland Park (5-12-1) with a score of 8-1 and another win over the rivaled Palmer with a score of 8-1. Then came the biggest challenge the Spartans have faced so far in the season, Rampart (10-6-3). “It [was] a big game and the boys knew that, but they also knew that the hardest working team on the ice will come out on top” said head coach Will English, and the Spartans worked hard to squeak out a 2-1 win in the final seconds of the close game.


Your Spartans then faced off against Air Academy (3-16-0) and came out on top, winning by a huge margin of 10-1. The Spartans were the highest-scoring team in the state after their first 5 games, outscoring their opponents 34-8 with senior captain Max Gault leading the team in scoring so far. The next game the Spartans were set to play was against the feared Aspen Skiers (6-7-4). “This is where the boys are separated from the men, Aspen is no joke and we feel that if we can handle a top tier program such Aspen, then we can handle any team in the state,” said junior defensive-man Tanner Chapman.


The Spartans came away with a 3-3 tie but the team wasn’t impressed by the tie at all, “They made me proud today, they took the challenge by the reigns and handled themselves with pride, class, and talent. They may not be to happy about the tie but they proved themselves today and I couldn’t be more proud. Don’t tell them I said that though,” said head coach Will English. Then came the last game before the long winter break against Chatfield (2-15-3) a game in witch the Spartans won 4-2.


After a ten-day break where the Spartans didn’t touch the ice, a few practices and some blood sweat and tears knocked the boys back into top shape for their upcoming game against Liberty (4-13-1). “I told them that after the break other teams were going to be coming at them hard and heavy. I told them they had a target on their back and they needed to separate themselves from their competition,” said head coach Will English. The game came as a breeze for the Spartans, winning in amazing fashion, beating the Lancers 7-0 and senior goalie Eric Buckholtz obtaining his first shutout of the season. Next up was a rematch between your Spartans and the Chatfield Chargers, the Spartans pulled away from from the very first puck drop and by the final horn the Spartans finished the scrappy game with a score of 6-1. “They may have gotten scrappy and landed a few cheap shots, but in the end we kept our heads and answered them in our own way… on the score board,” said sophomore forward Tyler Alderage.

High fives at the Pine Creek game.

The Spartans then bulldozed their way through Mullen (10-7-2), winning once again by more than a 3-goal deficit. Then in an inner conference showdown between your Spartans and the Coronado Cougars (4-12-3), the Spartans heavily underestimated their opponents, but they fought hard to beat the Cougars 5-4, in their closest game of the season that didn’t end up in a tie. “We came out flat and we didn’t prepare for this game the way we should’ve, but Eric held us in the game so this win is for him,” said junior alternate captain Thomas Hollon. The Spartans then had two rematch games facing off once again against Woodland Park and Rampart, beating Woodland Park 9-2 and Rampart 6-2. The Spartans would then win their next three game racking up wins against Cheyenne Mountain (9-9-1), Coronado, and the ruff and tough Columbine (4-14-1).


The next opponent the Spartans would face would be the the last and hardest team to beat… the titan of a team… the Pine Creek Eagles. This was a hockey spectacular like no other, this was a battle of the Springs, and more importantly, a battle for the 8th seed, which means a bye for the first round of playoffs. This was the most hyped game of the whole season, with neither team wanting to lose and the Spartans having to tighten up defensively in order to match the best offensive attack in the state with Pine Creek. “I want them to have a little fire in their bellies. This game determined the future of this team and I know we came prepared,” said head coach Will English. This was the first time the Spartans have been the underdog team with odds of winning at 33%. This was a hard fought battle and there was so much hype leading up to the “Battle of the Springs. Let’s go boys, get hyped. Show the experts why they are wrong, show them we have a dog in us. Silence the doubters, boys we need to respond to all of this hype, let’s go prove everyone that we deserve respect. Alright boys, SPARTANS ON 3! 1..2..3!”


Senior captain Jordan Cornelison addressed the team in the pre-game huddle. It was then time for puck drop, starting lineups and the anthem, then it was time to go to war. The puck dropped and was a true battle from beginning to end. Pine Creek scored the first goal while on a power play, but the Spartans answered back within the next minute and 45 seconds. “I asked, “Are we ok?” Then I told them they needed a response. I told them not to shut down,” said head coach Will English. The Spartans then scored 3 consecutive goals, 2 in the second period and 1 in the third. “We all came together as one and showed the experts that just because we may be out skilled, doesn’t  mean we are out worked,” said junior defensemen Christian Chatwin. This was especially an important night for seniors Zach Fellinger, Jordan Cornelison, Max Gault, Brandon Zerwick, Cade Winders, Troy Foster, Jackson Conners, and Eric Buckholtz for this will be the last season game they get to play with the Spartan crest on their chest. But with all the festivities, the Spartans didn’t get distracted and beat the mighty Pine Creek Eagles 4-1, going undefeated (17-0-2) in the regular season, the only team in Colorado not to lose a regular season game. The Spartans will then face off in a second round playoff duel against the Cherry Creek Bruins on Friday February,22nd.


The hockey team waiting to start the game.

The team is losing several seniors this year. Come out and support them on the 22nd.

Sign up for the spirit bus and come show some support! This season was a story Cinderella herself would be jealous of.