Capping off a 10-1 conference record to claim their first Front Range Conference Title since 2007 Oct. 25 against Monarch, the game to set up the conference championship title for Legacy was the 2-0 …
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Capping off a 10-1 conference record to claim their first Front Range Conference Title since 2007 Oct. 25 against Monarch, the game to set up the conference championship title for Legacy was the 2-0 victory of Boulder (12-3, 10-1 in conference) three days prior.
In the high-powered matchup between 5A No. 2, Boulder and No.1 Legacy Oct. 22 at North Stadium, the Lightning bested one of their rivals on Senior Night.
As both teams found themselves notched at zero's 14 minutes in, Legacy broke through with the only goal they would need. On a give-and-go from Joey Joiner to Blake Hansen — back to Joiner—to the back of the net, the Legacy crowd erupted.
“That's pretty much right out of our playbook,” Legacy coach Anthony Romano said after the game of his two seniors recording the score. “They executed it to perfection, and that was a well-executed 1-2 sequence with a 1-time finish, two inches from the post. That's about as good as it gets as far as I'm concerned.”
Controlling pace for the majority of the night — in part to the extreme depth of the Legacy unit —Boulder offensively couldn't find a consistent flow. Scoring 24 goals during their 7-game winning streak, the backline of goaltender Brandon Hansen and defenders Ulises Rodriguez, Andrew Kehmeier and Anthony Quidachay wouldn't budge against the Panthers.
“I think a game of this level with two teams playing that hard against each other, I think either team is able to win that game. It's a matter of a couple of bounces of the ball going the right way. I think in reality, it's about effort. These guys worked really hard tonight. I'm super proud of them,” Romano said.
Also proud of veteran striker, Hansen, Romano talked about the recent frustrations in finding the back of the net for the senior, while being so close the past few contests. In the 37th minute, Hansen capitalized with his 16th score of the season to put the affair — it felt like — out of reach.
“He's had couple games where he's had unbelievable performances but hasn't quite scored,” Legacy coach Tony Romano said. “That one right there was me encouraging him, saying 'Look, I know sometimes when you're half off-balanced, and it's just a half-chance, take it (the shot) anyway.'“
The Lightning came out with similar energy as the first frame early in the second half, dominating time of possession in part to the control of the middle of the field from seniors Ryan Bennett, Colten Armstrong and Hunter Hance.
Their play plus the other seniors on the roster put the Lightning at 7-straight wins themselves going into playoff time with momentum and leadership on their side.
“We have 13 seniors, and they have done a lot for this program over their careers here. They have set a bunch of individual and team records at every different level over the last four years, and they are hoping to continue to do even more in the coming weeks. My hats off to these guys for having been the leaders and the next step of this program. I'm real proud of them.”
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