Breck beats Breakaways, 4-0
BRECKENRIDGE –Considering the Vail Breakaways women’s hockey team beat the Breckenridge Blizzard four times last year, the opener against the powerhouse could have made the Blizzard a little apprehensive.
If it did, it didn’t show.
Breckenridge scored a goal against Vail for each one of those previous defeats and won, 4-0, to open the first annual Breckenridge Women’s Fall Hockey Tournament. The tournament is being held as a warmup for the upcoming Women’s Association of Colorado Hockey regular season, which begins in late October.
Holly Tallman and Kim Swanson each had a goal and assist Friday, and goalie Jamilee Headley only had to make seven saves on her way to the shutout.
The Blizzard showed brilliance in defense as they killed two penalties in the first period and another penalty in the third.
The scoring opened five minutes into the first period when Joyce Copeland punched a rebound through the five hole. The second goal also came in the opening 15 minutes, on a pass from Swanson to Pat Campbell that found the net.
The highlight of the game, however, was when Tallman scored in the second period. Tallman, the captain, picked the puck away from the Vail defense in front of the Vail net and took her time skating across the crease to look for the right shot. She shifted the puck to her back hand and shot high, beating goalie Pam Lammer to make it 3-0.
The insurance goal came from Swanson, who started whacking at a series of rebounds until one went in – with only five minutes to play in the game.
The defense shined, breaking up Vail attacks and, time and time again, sending the puck out of the offensive zone.
Alex Kendall, Tallman and Campbell each took a turn in the penalty box for minor penalties. But the team’s organization continued to show, as the Blizzard spent more than a minute of the six-minute disadvantage attacking the Breakaways’ net.
“We showed patience; we showed hustle tonight,” said Tallman after the game. “Defense was the key.”
“We have a really good core,” forward Dawn Vranas said. “We took our time with the puck and played well together. Our penalty kill was most excellent this evening.”
The tournament continues today as the Blizzard faces the Denver Synergy at 7 a.m. They face Vail again tonight at 7 p.m., and finish the tournament on Sunday morning, facing the Synergy at 7.
Notes: The game almost finished 5-0, when forward Krista Solem had an opportunity to watch one of her shots bounce off the goalpost. … The tournament is open to the public and free of charge with a total of nine teams playing in three divisions. … All games are being played at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena. … For more information, contact the ice arena at (970) 547-9974.
Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at email@example.com.