Vail takes down Summit to win Sportsmanship Tournament opener
VAIL – With the Avs’ season off to a typical, mediocre start (give them a couple weeks, and they’ll be leading the division), the valley turns to local, junior hockey for some hockey-related inspiration.
The Vail Junior Hockey Association’s 24th Annual Sportsmanship Tournament kicked off festivities Thursday night with a battle between Vail and Summit.
The Mountaineers U-19s girls team took an early lead and pulled it out for a 3-2 victory.
“Obviously, it’s great to start with a win,” said Vail coach Pam VanReesma. “It’s still early in the season and there’s a lot to work on, but this is just a great starting point.”
The Lightning controlled the majority of the first period, blasting five shots on goal to Vail’s two.
The Mountaineers ended the period with a shot that sailed wide-left.
Vail came out strong in the second period. Mountaineers co-captain Keegan Garnsey sent a shot toward the upper-right post, which the Summit goalie knocked down.
The Lightning’s Hannah Harvey retaliated with a coast-to-coast, one-on-one opportunity with Mountaineers goalie Kris Caples. The shot missed high and right.
Caples shut down Summit’s following two one-on-one opportunities.
With 1:19 to go in the second period, Vail’s Molly Goodman rocketed an unassisted shot into the back of Summit’s net.
Vail outshot Summit, 7-6, in the second period.
The third period saw three goals, beginning with a counter-attack goal from Summit with 9:54 to go in regulation.
Goodman struck back with a goal from the center of the right, faceoff circle. She was assisted by Lauren Arnold and co-captain Hillary Gallegos.
Gallegos scored the Mountaineers’ third goal fewer than three minutes later. She collected a misfire, turned and sent a low, lasering shot, which turned out to be the game-winner.
Summit scored the final goal of the game with 1:45 to go, and Vail put up some tough defense to wait out the clock.
“It’s fun to be working with these girls, and to be a part of the valley,” said VanReesma, who recently moved to the valley. “We have Aspen Saturday afternoon. There will be a lot of pride on the line.”
Sportsmanship Tournament action continues today with the Vail Squirt B’s at 11 a.m., the Vail Bantam A’s at 2:20 p.m. at Dobson Ice Arena in Vail. The Vail Girls U-19s play Saturday at 8:10 a.m.
Andrew Harley can be contacted at (970) 949-0555 ext. 610 or at email@example.com.