Hockey

Taos Ice Tigers finish their home games, win three

By Sheila Miller
sports@taosnews.com
Posted 2/6/19

The Taos Ice Tigers won three out of four games this weekend (Feb. 1-3), including the Saturday evening (Feb. 2) game-turned-brawler at which they honored their seniors.

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Hockey

Taos Ice Tigers finish their home games, win three

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The Taos Ice Tigers won three out of four games this weekend (Feb. 1-3), including the Saturday evening (Feb. 2) game-turned-brawler at which they honored their seniors.

Before the game, the six Ice Tigers seniors each had a chance to address the crowd and their parents were each presented with a white rose. The seniors' jerseys hung in the Taos Youth and Family Center entryway together with photo collages of their years of work and dedication to the team.

At 5:15 p.m., it was time to take on the Telluride Miners. Lachlan Henderson, assisted by Nicholas Elliot, gave the Ice Tigers a 1-0 lead within the first five minutes of the period. Henderson again, this time with Ysidro Gravelle, made it 2-0 within the first 10 minutes. Players on both sides avoided penalties, with only one in the first 15 minutes of the game. That began to change after the Miners were on the board in the final three minutes of the first period, which ended 2-1 Taos.

The shift in the tone of the game was noticeable. Not only did checks become more aggressive, but physical contact between players without the puck increased. Telluride tied it up at 2-all early in the second, and the tension continued to escalate throughout the period, with the two teams racking up five penalties apiece, almost as many as in either of the entire games against the Durango Devils earlier in the weekend.

With barely over a minute left in the second period, the Ice Tigers took the puck down the ice. A Telluride player successfully stole it and passed it away. After the pass, Taos's Leandro Richert put both hands on the Miner's chest and pushed him backward into the boards, causing his skates to cut out from under him. The Telluride player fell back onto the ice, hitting the back of his head and losing consciousness.

The play continued with a Taos goal within seconds and then a multiplayer fight, interrupted by one of the only two referees, rather than the customary four, due to a statewide shortage of officials.

After considerable discussion among the officials, the goal was good and gave Taos a 3-2 lead - which Telluride neutralized with 20 seconds after play resumed, tying it up again at 3-3. However, the Telluride player was unable to continue playing.

The feeling among the crowd shifted again, with many parents expressing concern for the well-being of their children and some young Taos fans exhibiting less than exemplary sportsmanship. A single altercation in the third resulted in 24 minutes of penalties between the two teams and two Taos players, Richert and Brandon Martinez, and one Telluride player, Liam Scanlon, ejected from the game and suspended from the next one.

Taos out-shot Telluride in the third period, with 18 shots to the Miners' 8. Three of them were good, giving Taos the 6-3 win.

- Morgan Timms contributed to this report

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