Midget teams lose in title games
Otherwise, it was a grim afternoon and evening Sunday for the Vail/Summit Midget AA’s and A’s at the Vail Sportsmanship Tournament a Dobson Arena.
The AA’s fell to Colorado Springs 2-0 in the finals, while the A’s lost to Littleton by the same score.
What made the AA’s’ loss all the more unsettling is that Vail/Summit beat the Tigers 4-1 just two days before in the tournament opener.
“I think we had some episodes of fatigue,” Vail/Summit coach Eric Licktieg said. “Whether that contributed to mental and physical mistakes, I think it was a combination of it. I won’t say that they didn’t want it because they definitely wanted it.”
Whatever the explanation, something was amiss. After a crisp, first period during which Vail/Summit produced plenty of good opportunities only to be denied by Tigers netminder Evan Hyndman, the wheels just came off. Vail/Summit seemed flat and passing and teamwork were noticeably absent.
“When we’ve been on and nobody can stop us that’s what it had been – a team effort,” Licktieg said. “The breakaways are caused by turnovers and quick passes and the goals actually come from two players before the passes. You try to remind them to keep together as a group, to work together as a five-man unit.”
Vail/Summit opened the door and Colorado Springs was more than happy to walk in. Tigers forward Brandon Williams broke a scoreless tie late in the second off a feed from defenseman Andrew Morin. Dylan Cooper slammed the door shut with an unassisted goal with 10:46 left in regulation.
The Midget A’s fell by the same count to Littleton, but certainly put up a more, spirited fight. Suiting up 10 skaters – the bench must have felt overcrowded, given that the team had as few as seven earlier in the tournament – Vail/Summit outshot the Hawks 19-18.
But Vail/Summit’s run came up short against a physical Littleton team. The Hawks let the lamp in the first period just as their power play was expiring. Shane Anderson did the honors with helpers going to Daniel Golden and Jake Gilbert. Steve Hemphill added some insurance on a shot that Vail/Summit goalie Tyler Lantz probably would have liked to have had back.
Despite the loss in the title game, there’s reason for optimism as far as Vail-Summit forward Chris Chase is concerned.
“It tough when we had one-and-a-half lines. But we played tough,” Chase said. “They had big kids. So it was kind of scary. We’re going to learn how to score more goals and get better fitness.”
The Midget AA’s got to the title game with a perfect 4-0 mark in pool play. Late Saturday night, Vail/Summit dumped Foothills 6-1. Keith Denton and Nathan Simon each scored twice, while Jason Chase and Austin Chow also lit the lamp.
Sunday morning, in the pool-play finale against Front Range, Chase and Chow were partners-in-crime, lifting Vail/Summit to a 3-0 win. Goalie Rick Odria got the shutout.
The Midget A’s finished up the round-robin with a 1-1-2 mark. On Saturday night, the team dropped a 3-2 decision to Littleton. Michael Morgan and Jeffrey Savonen both found the back of the net. Sunday morning, Vail/Summit and Steamboat battled to a 0-0 tie. Karl Eklund was a perfect 9-for-9 between the pipes.
Ice Chips: Vail-Summit coach Jade Kersey watched from the stands to comply with the CHSAA rule of no-contact on Sunday. Kersey will be coaching the Battle Mountain team, which starts Nov. 14. … The Midget A’s are trying to schedule a road game at Steamboat Springs this weekend. … Kudos to tournament director Beth Chow and the myriad of parents/volunteers who make the tournament possible. … The Vail Sportsmanship Tournament continues this weekend with Bantams and U-19 girls. … The Midget AA’s are sponsored by Resort Concepts. The Midget A’s are sponsored by the Beaver Creek Resort Company.
Pee Wee A’s Win!
The Vail Pee Wee A’s won their tournament on an overtime goal from Kodi Wyatt Sunday. Please look out for Wednesday’s Vail Daily for a complete report on the Pee Wees’ big win.
The Vail Daily is also accepting team pictures and action shots of the the Pee Wee A’s. Got photos? Our e-mail is email@example.com or call (970) 949-0555, ext. 614.
Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.