Vail Pee Wee B’s take third at state
The Vail Mountaineers Pee Wee B hockey team came home with third place from last weekend’s Colorado Amateur Hockey Association State Championships. Vail, the No. 4 seed, lost, 4-1 in Saturday’s semifinal match to No. 1 Seed and eventual state champion, Arapahoe. Arapahoe, with only one loss for the entire season, defeated the CHC Red Team, 1-0, in overtime on Sunday to claim the title.In Saturday’s other semifinal, CHC Red defeated the Eagle-Valley Devils, 3-1. Since the playoff format does not have a consolation game, the Devils also finished third. All in all, considering the larger programs they were up against, it was a great showing for both Eagle County teams for the season and the state championships.
In Saturdays Vail-Arapahoe match up, the Mountaineers spotted Arapahoe a two-goal, first-period lead. Both goals were scored with Vail short-handed and Arapahoe on late power plays.Vail clamped down defensively in the second stanza, only allowing Arapahoe six shots in the period and cutting the lead to 2-1 with a late goal of its own with only 31 seconds remaining in the period. Michael Wilhelm went five hole on the Arapahoe goaltender, with the goal-mouth assist going to Karl Norris.Arapahoe applied more offensive pressure in the third period, scoring two goals in an early three -minute span to put the game out of reach. Both goals were scored from wild scrambles in front of Vail goalie Steve Parra, who made key saves on all the initial shots.Parra was again outstanding in net for Vail, as Arapahoe peppered him with 34 shots for the game.
The third-place finish at state concluded a very successful season for the Mountaineers, who went undefeated in the Divide League with a 14-0-2 record and an overall mark of 25-12-4. Vail had several players in the top 10 rankings in the league scoring statistics. Wilhelm ranked third in total points scored with 27, with Elliott Simon and Otto Jordan tied for fourth with 25 points. The same three were tied for third in goals scored with 18. Wilhelm and Will Hymes ended up tied for second in league assists with nine.Vail goaltenders Steve Parra (9-0-1) and Carter Peel (5-0-1), both undefeated in league action, ended up ranked first and fourth, respectively, in save percentage amongst goalies with six or more starts. The Mountaineers ranked second defensively with a stellar 1.50 goals-against average.
The Mountaineers were coached by Eric Lickteig and sssistants Dmitry Molotchev and Eric Baldwin.Players were forwards Wilhelm, Simon, Jordan, Norris, Will and Ben Hymes, Garrett Funk and Daniel Westerberg; defensemen Rudi Baldwin, Aaron Lewis, Erik Sortland and Michael Viera; and goalies Parra and Peel. Vail, Colorado
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