Mountaineers draw split in tourney | VailDaily.com
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Mountaineers draw split in tourney

Ian Cropp

VAIL – It was the Casey Kleisinger show Friday afternoon at the Vail junior hockey association’s Sportsmanship Tournament in Dobson Arena.Kleisinger scored four goals en route to the Vail Mountaineers Midget AA 5-3 come-from-behind victory over the Colorado Jr. Eagles.”I had the goals, but Derek Byron sent me pretty much everything,” Kleisinger said. “My linemates were working just as hard as I was.”The win gave the Mountaineers a split on the day, as they lost to the Ft. Collins Kodiaks, 6-2.”It was a 2-2 game at one point, but we had some defensive breakdowns and they had some odd man rushes,” said coach Gary Defina.In the afternoon game, Vail trailed three separate by one goal, but finally took the lead with 3:31 left in the third that it wouldn’t relinquish.With five minutes left in the third, and the Mountaineers trailing 3-2, Vail goalie Foster Fox made a save on a breakaway that kept his team in the game. Foster showed great composure, waiting for the Eagles forward, Chris Arvin to make the first move.”You’ve gotta wait for him to make the first move,” Fox said. “He shot the puck, and it hit my arm. It was a sweet save.”GoalsThe Eagles scored their first two goals on the power play, both of which came on penalties by Chris Chase.”We need to be better on special teams, but at the same time, we totally outplayed them five-on-five,” Defina said.Kleisinger netted the his first of the game to tie it at one late in the first period.Off of a set faceoff play, Byron shot the puck, and then Kody Wyatt found the puck and passed it to Kleisinger, who knocked it home.After falling down 2-1, Vail evened the game with five minutes left in the second period. Jonny Stevens ripped a shot from the point that the Eagle’s goalie got a piece of with his glove, but Barrett Chow was in perfect position to put the rebound in the net.With 7:40 left in the third period, the Eagles scored again on a shot that almost didn’t make it in.”I got a piece of the puck (with my glove) and then it went in at the last second,” Fox said.Casey showShortly after the Eagles took what would be their final lead of the game, Kleisinger sped down the left wing and drew a holding penalty.One the ensuing power play, Kleisinger exchanged passes with Stevens at the point, then moved off the right boards, threaded the puck around two Eagles’ defenders, moved across the crease and fired a shot in the top corner of the net.”I had a similar opportunity earlier in the game and I hit the post, but this time I went with it,” Kleisinger said.Less than a minute later, the Mountaineers took a penalty, but that didn’t hamper Kleisinger from scoring.Kleisinger took the puck into the Eagles’ zone, but was knocked down a few feet inside the blueline. While sliding on his stomach, he regained control of the puck, and flicked it over the shoulder of the goalkeeper.”I was on my stomach and then I shot it,” Kleisinger said. “I thought I missed the net, but the puck came down and hit me on the head.”On a great hustle play by Ryan Maddux, the Mountaineers gained control of the puck deep in the Eagles end, allowing Kleisinger to tap the puck into an empty net for his fourth goal of the game.Today the action continues as the Dobson Arena as the Mountaineers play the Colorado Hockey Club at 12:20 p.m., then take on the Ogden Jr. Wildcats at 5:40 p.m.Also, the Vail Mountaineers Midget A squad will face Boulder at 4:20 p.m.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14631, or icropp@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado


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