Eagle Valley Bantams win league
The Eagle Valley Devil Bantam hockey team continued its amazing season last weekend winning the Rocky Mountain Youth Hockey League championship with a convincing 7-2 win over Kremmling. The playoffs actually kicked off the previous weekend with the divisional series, where the Devils started things off by taking care of Glenwood Springs, 6-0. Guy Garth got the team off to the early start with a helper going to Max Ward. Then Elliot Ristow, Greg Flynn, and Garth again had the Devils up 4-0 after one. Captain Kevin Mansfield and Ward finished up the scoring. Next, the Devils matched up with rival Summit County, and ended the Lightning’s season by a 4-0 count. Jamison Bair, Mansfield, Connor Wallace and Flynn did the honors.
Assistant coach Sam Frey had the defense on top of their game all weekend, allowing only 10 shots to Glenwood and 14 to Summit. Goalie Brad Beaudin stopped everything that came his way in posting two shutouts, giving the Devils the top seed for the finals.The finals began Saturday with the Devils taking on Vernal, Utah. Ward got the Devils going just two minutes in, and Mansfield added two goals in the first period. Vernal got its two also in the first, but the Devils took over from there, with Bair adding two goal for the 5-2 final.Next up was second seed Crested Butte, which was expected to be the toughest game. “We had not seen Crested Butte all year” said head coach Gary Defina. “But we heard they had a terrific year, and in fact had taken the top seed in the South over from defending champs Gunnison, but the boys were fired up and ready to show who the best team was.”
The Devils were a little too fired up it turned out, and spent a lot of the first period in the penalty box.. They killed off a 5-on-3 early then settled in and let the defense hold down Crested Butte, allowing only four shots on goal over the final two periods. Mansfield got on the scoresheet early in the third, with a helper from Bergin Tjossem. Then the floodgates opened. Bryan Brennan fired home a slapper, then Andy Goodman on a nice pass from Dalton Casady, and Ward finished off the scoring for the 4-0 final. Again it was Beaudin stopping all the shots he faced for his third shutout of the playoffs.The championship game saw the No. 1 seed from the North division, Kremmling, facing off against the Devils. Mansfield again got the Devils off early putting home a Scott Reiter pass just 30 seconds in. Ward, Goodman and Nick Keogh added first period goals, putting the pressure on Kremmling.
Kremmling then tried to use their size, upping the physical game to try and take the Devils speed advantage away. But as they got more physical, they also got chippy, taking several bad penalties of which the Devils took advantage. Keogh put home a power play goal, on a nice passing play with Garth and Ward, and Bair and Ward added third period goals for the 7-2 final. “As with any championship team, it was a total team effort, but the defense, led by Brad Beaudin in net, backed up by Coulter Stansell, with Mitchell Lammert, Cooper Adams, John Crawford, Brennen and Tjossem in front of him did an outstanding job all through the playoffs” said Frey. “Defense is what wins championships and the whole team did an outstanding job defensively throughout.”This weekend, the Devils travel to Denver for the State Championships against the winners of the CCYHL and the CDYHL, both Front Range leagues.
Thanks guys, call me with any questions or comments, I’ll try to get you a team photo as well.Vail, Colorado