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Game of the Week: Monarch hockey tested by string of top-10 battles

Jan. 24—When and where: Saturday, 5 p.m. at the Sports Stable

The scouting report: Nobody said Monarch hockey's run through the regular season was going to be easy. This week alone provides the perfect snapshot as to why.

Over a three-day period starting Thursday, the Coyotes — who are ranked No. 5 in CHSAA's Selection & Seeding Index for 5A teams — will face off with No. 4 Poudre School District, No. 10 Castle View and No. 2 Regis Jesuit.

Saturday's contest against Regis should prove the toughest of all for a team that boasts a 6-3-2 record. Two of those losses have come from the sticks of two of the classification's top three teams, with the other belonging to Castle View. Just last week, the Coyotes tied Ralston Valley in back-to-back contests.

The Raiders, on the other hand, will be coming in with an 8-2-1 record, with losses to No. 1 Valor and No. 3 Cherry Creek, and a tie with the Poudre School District.

To date, Monarch forward Jaren Ng has proven one of the most prolific scorers in the classification, as he ties with six other players for 10 goals. Only Castle View's Steven Kannenberg has netted more scores. Fellow forward Ben Rosenberg has served as Ng's greatest asset, assisting eight goals in all.

No other Coyote has scored enough goals to rank in the top 20. That's where Regis stands out. Mountain Vista houses the most high-scorers in 5A, with four ranking among the top 20, followed by three apiece from Regis and Cherry Creek.

Monarch will have to defend well against the likes of Ian Beck (eight goals), Nolan Williams (seven goals) and Vincent Cieslak (six goals) if they hope to pull off the upset on Saturday. The Raiders have proven time and again that they know how to score in high volume, having seen six games with five goals or more.

Monarch has hit that mark five times, including a 10-1 hammering of Resurrection Christian near the beginning of the season. The Coyotes will have to fine-tune their defense, making it nearly impenetrable, if they want to walk away victorious come Saturday night.