Lending a hand deserves applause

Hockey player who is big on assists honored for hard work on ice

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It was late in the third period of the state semifinal game against eventual state champion Regis Jesuit when Alex Harlan set up Chaparral’s best scoring chance of the contest.

The Chaparral senior sent a pass to a teammate in the slot, which didn’t result in a goal in the 4-0 loss on March 1, but it showed the kind of player Harlan is — when assists to him are as important as the resulting goals.

Harlan is the 2019 Colorado Community Media South Metro Hockey Player of the Year.

He was one of the state leaders with 23 assists. He had 14 goals and tied with fellow senior Dylan Florit for the team lead with 37 points for the Wolverines. Harlan missed two games because of concussion protocol.

“A lot of times the talk is about the player who scored the goals and not the player who had the assists,” said Harlan. “But the players know how important assists are.

“Yeah, sometimes I look to pass first. My dad keeps telling me to look for shots. I’m just glad I was able to play well this season.”

Harlan’s brother, Max, was an All-State goalie for Regis last season.

Alex Harlan has gone to Chap for four seasons and chose to play high school this season instead of AAA club hockey with the Thunderbirds. He noted it is more fun to play in front of a high school crowd than just parents at AAA games.

“He has extremely good vision on the ice as attested by his 23 assists,” said Wolverines coach Ryan Finnerock. “His biggest attribute is his speed and skill. He is right that sometimes assists are overlooked more than goals by some. However, we value them on our team as equal to goals.

“Alex did not play of Chaparral last season. He made the decision in his senior year to come back and play for his high school. He chose high school hockey because it has become more competitive than club AAA hockey and he said the level of hockey is equal to or greater in high school compared to AAA.”

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