Earlier this year, Tyler Montoya and Jimmy Adams each had two goals and two assists in the third period of a regular season game.

Rampart was up big, so they knew their time on the ice was limited. They made the effort to steal the puck and break toward the opposing net. Montoya, who is second in the state with 44 points as of Friday, had possession of the puck.

He knew he could bury it, get the hat trick and call it a day. But he passed it. Adams took the puck and was the one who got his third goal of the day before the duo came off the ice.

That's the kind of player Montoya is. Although very talented and able to score on a whim, he's also a selfless hockey player and the Rams are better off for it.

"Tyler is very unselfish," Rampart coach Josh McIntosh said. "He's a little shy about all this attention which is funny. Because of that, he can go a little unnoticed. It's not like you see him and think about him being 6-foot-3 and the fastest guy in the world. You don't notice him. He's very smart and he's very unselfish."

He has already climbed the ranks in career marks at Rampart. He is first all-time in assists, second in goals and second in overall points.

He might be the best player McIntosh has had the pleasure of coaching.

The coach would love to say that he's surprised that Montoya has been so productive this year, but he's not.

And Montoya doesn't seem all that surprised either.

"This is my 10th year playing and growing up I was mainly the playmaker and this year I started scoring a lot," Montoya said. "I've been working on my shot and my head is always up and looking around for the right play to make."

Rampart hockey Tyler Montoya

(Dan Mohrmann/CHSAANow.com)

It's not just Montoya that makes the Rams a threatening team late in the season. At 11-5 on the year, the Rams have assured themselves of a winning season. They currently sit at No. 19 in the hockey RPI so a playoff appearance is looking good.

And once that starts, there's no telling what the Rams are capable of. McIntosh points out that several players, including Adams have been sick or injured this year. If this team gets healthy, it will be anything but an easy out in the postseason.

"If we get all healthy guys, including myself, I think that we can be a very dangerous team by sticking to the details, sticking to our systems," Adams said. "It's shown up before against other teams and I think that we can do that to just about any other team out there."

It seems that it all starts with Montoya. Only Valor Christian's Luke Wheeler has been a better offensive player this year. Heading into the weekend, Wheeler has one game up on Montoya and is two points better.

That could all change in the drop of a hat. Pun intended. In Monday's win over Coronado, Montoya scored his third goal of the game when the Rams were short-handed. It turned out to be the game winner.

Rampart athletic director Andy Parks was so fired up, he was in desperate search of a hat to throw on the ice.

Like Adams this year, Montoya was only halted last year by a bit of misfortune and injuries. But he has made every effort to make up for it in his senior season.

"He hit a ton of posts and was nicked up," McIntosh said. "I don't know if we expected him to be a three point per game player, but we fully expected him and Jimmy Adams to be two of the best players in the state."

They'll have the chance to prove their worth. The Rams were ousted in the first round of last year's state tournament, but with the regular season success that they've seen they have every reason to believe that they can keep it going, especially with such an experienced squad.

"A big part of it is how many seniors we have. We have 14," Montoya said. "We have a lot of hard working players."

And it helps to have a guy like Montoya who can be offensively dominant. When asked who should take the last shot between Montoya and himself, Adams was quick to say the other guy.

Most teams probably know that's the case as well. Which is why it will come as a complete surprise when Montoya passes the puck. He's unselfish and he has every bit of faith in his teammates.

And it's a big reason why the Rams have won far more games than they've lost.

Rampart hockey Tyler Montoya

(Dan Mohrmann/CHSAANow.com)