As the regular season winds down in the AT&T Metroplex High School Hockey League, Jesuit earned a key victory toward solidifying its playoff position.
The Rangers blanked rival Highland Park 7-0 on Thursday in Richardson, in a game that marred by a slew of third-period penalties and late-game scuffles that led to suspensions for three players.
Chase Phillips scored a hat trick with two assists, and Santiago Diaz added two goals with three assists for Jesuit. Adding to the tally were Matthew Craycraft and Nicholas Boss.
Jack Rahlfs made 34 saves in posting the shutout in goal for the Rangers (10-5), who avenged defeats against HP in the previous two meetings this season. Jesuit clinched at least the No. 2 seed in the Varsity Gold division playoffs.
The Rangers carried over their momentum from last weekend’s Texas Amateur Hockey Association state tournament, where they beat Allen in a best-of-three series to claim the crown. In the process, Jesuit secured a second consecutive trip to the USA Hockey National Championships in March.
The Scots (6-9), who were shut out for the first time this season, slipped into a tie for the fourth and final playoff spot in the division with two games left. Plus, league officials suspended HP’s Robby Sours (who has a team-high 20 goals this season) and Jordan Gachman for the team’s critical Feb. 6 game against Southlake Carroll.
As it stands now, Jesuit would meet Allen in the league semifinals on Feb. 20, while the Scots would face league-leading Frisco.
One bright spot for the Scots came earlier this month, when Christian Lee was honored as the league’s Player of the Month for January. He was recognized at the Dallas Stars game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.