Taos Thanksgiving tourney showcases New Mexico high schools’ best
The Taos Ice Arena was the happening locale Thanksgiving Weekend as it hosted the Thanksgiving Ice Hockey Tournament for high school junior varsity teams and Midget development squads.
Woodland Park and Taos met in the tournament final after Woodland Park finished first in pool play with a spotless 4-0 record. Taos finished second with a 3-1 mark, its lone loss to Woodland Park on Nov. 26.
“The tournament was exciting and fun for all the teams,” said tournament director Brian Greer. “The competition was strong for the most part, with some very close games. For this early part of our season, it was terrific to see the teams improve and perform better as they progressed through the tournament. Thanks to everyone that participated.”
In the championship final Nov. 27, Jordan Cisneros led Taos with two goals, while Josh Esquibel tallied a goal and an assist and Finn McMullin and Leandro Richert scored one apiece as Taos took a 5-1 win.
Taos goalie Skyler Spriggs stopped 18 of 19 shots for the win, only allowing a second-period goal to Brenden Bowman.
Garrett Richardson made 24 saves for Woodland Park.
Taos was a perfect 8-for-8 on the penalty kill and scored (Richert) on its lone power play opportunity early in the second period to open the scoring. Cisneros’ second goal of the game was of the shorthanded variety.
In the semifinals, Taos edged Durango 4-3 with Richert, who led the tournament with nine points, potting the game-winning goal shorthanded at 9:45 of the third period. Everett Howland scored twice for Durango in a 58-second span in the second period to tie the game at 3-all.
The other semifinal saw Parker Taranto notch three goals and an assist in Woodland Park’s 8-1 win over NMAHA. Carson Bowman added two goals and an assist and Richardson needed to make just seven saves for the win in net.
Los Alamos was the fifth team at the event and was eliminated after the round robin.
— Matt Mackinder