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Castle View Lady Sabercats Experienced Instant Success to Earn Trip to Nationals

By Tom Robinson, 03/21/24, 10:15AM MDT


The Ladycats are the first girls high school team from Colorado to earn a trip to nationals.

The Castle View Lady Sabercats made the most of a new opportunity.

In the first season of a girls team at Castle View High School and the first year of separate girls competition in the Colorado Prep Hockey League, the Lady Sabercats created more firsts.

The Lady Sabercats became the first girls team to win a state title in Colorado, and in doing so, earned the right to be the first girls high school team from the Centennial State to compete at the Chipotle-USA Hockey National Championships. 

Castle View made the trip to West Chester, Pennsylvania, for the 2024 Chipotle-USA Hockey High School Girls National Championships earlier this week. 

Michael Dubus, the director of the Sabercat Hockey Program, is hopeful the team continues to be part of ground-breaking efforts. 

Girls have had the opportunity to play on varsity and junior varsity co-ed teams at Castle View for about a decade, according to Dubus, who has been with the organization for eight years.

“We’ve seen very encouraging incremental success, over the course of the last three years, for all of our teams,” Dubus said. “This being the first year of having a girls team in our program, it’s very cool and exciting to see all the success that they’ve had.”

Lady Sabercats head coach Kyle Meehan has reviewed as much film as he can of other national qualifiers and comes in confident in his rookie team’s ability to compete.

“When we’re at our best, we’re probably doing three things very well,” Meehan said. “We’re probably moving the puck well and with some pace. We’re forechecking very well and hard. And we’re defending the house really hard and not giving up a lot of grade-A scoring chances, letting our goalie have some help.”

Chemistry was key in creating Castle View into that type of team.. The result was winning both regular-season and playoff titles in the CPHL.

“The girls were really good about treating each other well in the locker room and buying in on the ice,” Meehan said.     

With some limited numbers in terms of girls players around the state, many team members play both club and high school hockey. After winning the state title and securing the nationals berth in February, Meehan gave the team a breather before resuming practices and playing a single game each of the two weekends before traveling to Pennsylvania.

“I kind of stepped back from game play a little bit to let the girls relax after a long season of multiple teams,” Meehan said.

The Sabercats allowed just 22 goals in 14 games while going 11-3 in the CPHL regular season. Of the team’s three goalies, Janine McKane saw the most action with eight starts, posting a 2.17 goals against average and a save percentage of .906.

Sofia Paulson scored six goals in seven games, but the team’s 45 goals were otherwise spread out, with eight players finishing league play with between three and five goals. Rylie Young, who had a team-high five assists, and Reese Olson, who scored five goals, shared the team points lead of eight with Paulson.

Fans can watch all the action from the 2024 Chipotle-USA Hockey National Championships live on 

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.