DENVER — Regis Jesuit hockey capped a perfect season on Tuesday with a state championship, firmly placing the Raiders among the state's all-time elite.
This title, which came via a 2-0 win over Valor Christian at Pepsi Center, is the program's fifth. All have come since 2008. The five titles are the second-most of any hockey team in state history — only Cheyenne Mountain has more with 14.
Regis Jesuit finished the season unbeaten at 23-0-0.
"We've had fantastic teams, and we haven't been able to do it before," Regis Jesuit coach Dan Woodley said of going unbeaten. "It is very hard. This team is special. They do the little things right. They work together as a team all the time."
The Raiders turned in a smothering defensive performance on Tuesday, allowing just 11 shots.
"We figured out their forecheck quickly," said Regis Jesuit senior Conor Kilkenny. "We played 200-foot defense, which is basically just keep it in their zone. Don't let them in our zone, and they can't get shots. ... Our 'D' did a really good job of shutting them down."
Regis Jesuit goalie Max Harlan, a senior, also had an outstanding game in net. It was his fourth shutout this season.
Included was a brilliant save with his left pad during a penalty kill in the second period on Valor's Luke Lonneman. He also had a great save early in the third period when an Eagles player was in alone.
"Max Harlan played a great game," Woodley said.
Kilkenny, a star throughout the playoffs, got what proved to be the winning goal with a short-handed tally in the first period.
"It got the crowd going, it got us going," Kilkenny said, "and it set the tone for the rest of the game."
Regis Jesuit allowed Valor Christian just one shot in the first period, and seven through two periods.
Kilkenny got Regis Jesuit on the board first when he scored a short-handed tally on a breakaway. He took advantage of a Valor Christian defenseman mishandling a faceoff win, and took off alone down the ice.
"What great play," Woodley said. "We were upset because we took a penalty. He just turned it around, it was fantastic."
The first period ended with the Raiders ahead 1-0, and out-shooting Valor Christian 6-1.
Then, in the second, Kale Lone added a power-play goal to extend the Regis lead to 2-0. Kilkenny picked up an assist, his sixth point in four games during the tournament.
Valor Christian goalie Trey Hirschfield had a great game, and kept the Eagles in it in the third period with a number of key saves, including on the penalty kill.
Valor Christian (20-3-0) was without Luke Wheeler, a senior and its leading scorer, due to an injury he suffered against Monarch in the semifinals.
"It's a real shame that Luke Wheeler wasn't able to play," Woodley said. "He's a great deal of their offense, and we really missed him playing, as well. All the condolences we can go out to Luke Wheeler."
The game was a rematch of a tight contest between the two teams in December, a 2-1 Regis Jesuit win.