LOVELAND — All night it just felt like someone was going to score with a man advantage. That worked out well for Crested Butte's Jack Lambert and also scared him late in the third period.
Lambert scored a power play goal then was sent to the penalty box and watched as Cheyenne Mountain frantically tried to tie the game. But it couldn't be done. Lambert's goal was the game winner as No. 1 Crested Butte advanced to the Class 4A hockey championship game with a 4-2 win over No. 4 Cheyenne Mountain at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland.
Cheyenne Mountain got on the board early thanks to a Wyatt Furda goal. But the Titans weren't phased and knew they had plenty of time to battle back.
"It's happened a couple of times this season where we've been down in the first period, even down in the second period," Lambert said. "We all know what we can do when we have our heads up. When our heads are down, we collapse."
They kept their heads up after that first Cheyenne Mountain goal. Rowan Piccaro tied the game two minutes later then added a goal in the second period to give the Titans a 2-1 lead.
Noah Bonnett got the equalizer at 5:48 in the third period on an overtime goal. An interference call on Denton Damgaard gave the Titans a man advantage and Lambert was quick to take advantage, scoring just 23 seconds into the power play.
"I was just thinking don't miss," Lambert said. "Fortunately enough, I didn't."
He got sent to the penalty box soon after and watched nervously as Cheyenne Mountain did everything possible to tie the game, but to no avail.
This is the first state championship game in program history for Crested Butte.
(3) Battle Mountain 2, (2) Kent Denver 0
The first 4A state title game in Colorado history was solidified as Battle Mountain advanaced with a 12-0 win over Kent Denver.
Carter Large jammed a loose puck into the Kent Denver net at at 6:09 in the first period and Nate Bishop scored with just over 10 minutes remaining in the third. That was more than enough for Huskies goalie Logan Gremmer.
Gremmer faced 23 shots and stopped them all to give Battle Mountain a much-desired rematch against Crested Butte. The Titans beat the Huskies 5-1 back on March 9, the final game of the regular season for both teams.
The win on Thursday was the first time all year that Battle Mountain had shut an opponent out.
For the Huskies, this is their third trip to a state hockey championship game. They played for titles in 2002 and 2008. Each time they lost by just a goal, first to Cheyenne Mountain then to Regis Jesuit.
Neither Battle Mountain or Crested Butte have won a state hockey championship so either way, history will be when the puck drops for the game at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.