Vail Junior Hockey back to work after the break
The effects of the holiday break were evident in the Vail Squirt B’s showdown with Steamboat Saturday, but the Mountaineers still came away with a 5-4 win.
Both teams struggled to get any continuity of passing or scoring as each team spent the first period scrapping the rust of a two-week Christmas break to end the period 0-0. Early in the second period, Jack Sunderland stole the puck at center ice and beat Steamboat’s goalie to give Vail a 1-0 edge.
Goals by Jacob Robertson and Ryan Jansen ended period No. 2 with Vail leading 3-2. Jansen picked up another hat trick with two more goals in the third leading Vail to a 5-4 victory.
Sunday’s game against Summit was an even match-up with Vail grabbing an early 2-0 lead in the second period only to see it slip away to a 3-2 deficit early in the third. Jansen tied the score with two minutes left and with a flurry of shots in the final minute Vail couldn’t find an opening and the Mountaineers settled for a 3-3 tie. Sunderland had a goal, while Jansen scored two and Cameron Brown had 20 saves in net.
U-19’s make Colorado Cup final
It was last-minute entries from two girls hockey teams with a Vail connection that made possible the addition of a girls U-19 division for the first time in the seven-year history of the Colorado Cup Hockey Tournament in Colorado Springs.
So it was fitting that those two teams, the Vail Mountaineers U-19 and the Colorado Mountain Lions U-15 AAA’s, ended up in the championship game on the final day of the tournament.
Vail started strong with a 5-1 win against Steamboat Springs/Summit. Molly Goodman led the scoring for Vail with two goals and three assists. McKenzie Stevens scored and had two assists and Desiree Smith had a goal and an assist. Captain Hillary Gallegos topped off the scoring with a goal.
The Lions U-15’s, in their first game together as a team, decimated Colorado Springs 12-0. Molly Goodman, who along with McKenzie Stevens and coach Jerry Stevens, was double rostered with both the U-19 Vail team and the U-15 Lions, had a goal and an assist, while Stevens picked up two assists.
The Lions similarly rolled over Steamboat/Summit Team 9-0, to which Molly Goodman contributed a goal.
Vail then avenged a Sportsmanship Tournament loss to Colorado Springs, 4-3. Goodman and Gallegos each had two goals and the Mountaineer held off a late charge from the Tigers.
The Lions showed no mercy to their coach’s other team, when Vail and Colorado met in pool play. The Lions routed the Mountaineers, but the two met again in the final.
That was never in question, though, but the Vail girls put up a valiant fight in a 5-0 losing effort. One other local note in the championship was that Jackie Koetteritz, daughter of Battle Mountain athletic director Fred Koetteritz, had a playmaker with three assists.
After two discouraging loses to the Lions, the Mountaineers were initially not happy campers. But later Gallegos, summed up the team’s sentiments by saying, “I’m glad we had the opportunity to play them and to see girls’ hockey played at that level.”
Jerry Stevens agreed, “I’m proud of our girls for making it to the championship game and hanging in there with a very tough opponent.”
The Vail U-19’s are sponsored by the Gallegos Corporation.
Pee Wee A’s top Summit
The Vail Pee Wee A’s overcame some holiday-break rust to defeat Summit 4-1.
Down 1-0 after one period, Vail picked up the pace in the second as Niklas Porter scored on a rocket from the blueline. Connor Tedstrom assisted on the power-play goal. Minutes later, Tedstrom added his own goal from the blueline and Vail had the lead for good.
Still in the second, Vail’s next goal was a beauty as Ryan Maddux led a 2-on-1 break. Maddux dished the puck to an open Kodi Wyatt, who one-timed
it into the net.
Taylor Beairsto closed out the scoring with a gritty goal in close with help from Barrett Chow and Andy Goodman digging out the puck from behind the net.
Vail’s defense which includes Tedstrom, Porter, Reed O’Brien, John Melzer and Eric Davis limited Summit to only four shots on goal for the game. Goalie Kalen Burnett earned the victory in net.
Vail’s next game is Saturday vs. Foothills at Dobsen Arena. The team is sponsored by Alpine Bank and coached by Jim Meehan, Davis Hill and Kevin Buckley.
Pee Wee B’s earn a point
The Vail Pee Wee B’s hosted the Arapahoe Ice Warriors recently and managed to hold on for a 6-6 tie.
Arapahoe took a quick 2-0 lead before Jordie Coffey got Vail going with a goal and an assist going to Spencer Fox. Then, Zac Brust tied the game with an unassisted goal, followed by Todd Walker’s score on a feed from Brust to made for a 3-2 Vail lead at the end of the first period.
Arapahoe came out in the second period with two more goals to regain the lead 4-3 before Walker ripped his second goal on the way to a hat trick to make it 4-4.
Vail took a 6-5 lead on a marker by Brust with that assist going to Elliot Ristow giving Vail with 7 minutes remaining. Arapahoe’s Eric Bahn, who already had a hat trick for the day, broke into the Mountaineers’ zone on an odd-man rush. Brust dragged him down, taking a necessary penalty.
Unfortunately, just 28 seconds later Quinten Wilson scored for Arapahoe and the 6-6 tie. Vail goalie T.J. Mays got the tie and had to face 35 shots from a strong Arapahoe team.
In the rematch Vail didn’t fare as well in a 7-3 shellacking. Vail’s only scores were from Coffey and Walker.
The Pee Wee B’s have had only three league games thus far this season, and team manager Laine Coffey has worked hard to set up additional games to keep the team sharp, but with two tournaments and 18 games in the next eight weeks they should be ready for the grind ahead.