Defense leads Breakaways in 5-0 win

Chris Freud

VAIL – There has been no shortage of great story lines this season when it comes to the Vail Breakaways women’s hockey team.

But, lest we forget, the Breakaways also feature a bunch of blueliners, who have been making opposing offenses miserable all year. Last weekend the defense recorded its fifth white-washing of the season as the Breakaways dumped Breckenridge 5-0.

For those of you scoring at home, the D has allowed just 12 goals in 13 games this season for a nifty – if not hard to find – 0.923 goals-against average. The Breakaways have only allowed more than one goal in just four games this season.

“The thing is with our defense is that the six of us just all gel so well,” Breakaways blueliner Joni Coughlin said. “There was a game earlier this year against the Brewsers, where I felt we could have played blindfolded. We know where we are going to be all the time.”

That’s not surprising. There’s a lot of experience on defense for Vail. Tania Landauer and Susanne Johnson form a potent pair of offensive defenders. Landauer can let it rip from the point, while Johnson is never afraid to jump up and join the action.

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Ali Wadey and Deb Davis regularly shift together, followed by Coughlin and Jessica Backhus. This quartet is more in the mode of the stay-at-home defender and who’s to argue with the result.

Breckenridge had no answer Saturday. Becky Maddux lit the lamp on a helper from Julie Alt. Jen Babcock found Karrisa Keltner for a sweet wraparound for a 2-0 lead. Landauer showed off her patented shot and Alice Plain added two more in the win.

Ice Chips: Vail hosts DU Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Bubble, not Dobson. To repeat, if you want Galactic and Medeski, Martin and Wood, go to Dobson. For Breakaways’ hockey, go to the Bubble. … The Breakaways want to thank their fans, especially the lift operators who show up for each game. … Can’t get enough of the Breakaways? Check out

Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at

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