Hornets lose first Highlands game against rival Castle View
When Pueblo County and Castle View get together, it’s always chippy.
Playing against former coach Will Harris, now an assistant with Castle View, always gets the Hornets pumped.
Tuesday, though, in the second meeting this season between the Highlands League foes, it was Castle View that had the fire burning as the Pueblo County co-op hockey team fell 6-1 to the Sabercats at the Pueblo Plaza Ice Arena.
The Hornets’ loss dropped them to 4-3 overall and 4-1 in Highlands League play as the Sabercats gave Pueblo County its first blemish to its league record.
Castle View got two quick goals in the game’s first 10 minutes, with an even-strength goal by John Fulton followed by a power-play goal by Tyler Johnson putting the Sabercats up 2-0.
With 4:56 left in the first period, Pueblo County got on the board on a pretty wrist shot by Jake Pacheco, assisted by Kyle Naylor, that beat Sabercat keeper Brandon Hanson top shelf on his far glove side.
The goal would be the only bright spot in a lackluster night for the Hornets.
The Hornets went to the penalty box six times, and the Sabercats responded by going 2-for-6 on the power play. County, meanwhile, was 0-for-4 on the power play, having trouble creating good enough opportunities to beat Hanson more than once.
Head Coach Lee LaJeunesse said that he wasn’t pleased with the team’s effort in a game it felt like it could win after defeating the Sabercats earlier this season.
“As a coach, if they leave it all out there on the ice, you don’t have a problem with it,” LaJeunesse said, “but that wasn’t our best effort tonight. I think after we beat them [in December] we thought they would just lay down, and they had a lot more fight than we did.”
LaJeunesse said that the focus is to not let the loss define its season.
“We need to use this loss as fuel to get better,” LaJeunesse said. “If we can win some more games down the road, we can get stronger and benefit from losing games where we don’t give a full effort.”