Wild wins MWHL title in Vail
VAIL, Colorado ” In the end, thne Wild women won.
The Buckhorn Valley Wild captured the 2009 Mountain Women’s Hockey League title, knocking off the First Bank Checkers, 5-3.
Two quick goals by the Wild did not deter the lregular-season champion Checkers, who came back with three tallies. But in the end, it was not enough.
“The victory was particularly sweet since we have never won the championship before,” said Sande Garton, co-captain of the Wild. “It will be great to finally have all our names on the trophy.”
Cappie Green, the Wild’s other co-captain, was quick to credit their coaches, Alice Plain and Karissa Keltner, who “never gave up on us, even though we had a slow start to the season.”
The playoff took place last month both at the Eagle Ice Rink and Dobson Arena, cheered on by large crowds of family and friends. The Wild won its bracket but the Checkers had to come back from a loss to qualify for the title game. The Benderly Economic Eagles defeated the Gore Range Brewery Brewsers in the consolation game prior to the championship game.
The coveted Sportsmanship Trophy was won for the third year in a row by the Sandbar Sport Grill Shooters, who made it difficult for other teams to compete for the trophy by bringing horses to the Saturday games and giving pony rides to the children in attendance.
The final game capped a season that began in October with training camps, player draft and a full season of practices and games, during which the league’s lead changed hands almost weekly.
The annual awards party, held at the Sandbar Sports Grill, was attended by close to 100 players, family and friends, and outstanding player league awards were given to the following: MVP ” Mariah Ulvestad; Most Valuable Defense ” Jackie Pietryzk; Most Improved Player ” Kaylee Schwarz
Each team also honored its outstanding players:
Gore Range Brewery Brewsers: MVP Offense ” Kalee Schwarz; MVP Defense ” Louise Ingalls; MIP ” Kelli Bailey
First Bank Checkers: MVP Offense ” Sharon O Grady; MVP Defense ” Jan Osteen; MIP ” Alisha Hisch
Benderly Economics Eagles: MVP Offense ” Chrisie Callier; MVP Defense ” Melissa Brewer; MIP “Kathleen “Nelson” Gainey
Sandbar Sports Grill Shooters: Ellen Gallbraith ” MVP Offense; Jackie Pietryzk ” MVP Defense; Katie Drucker ” MIP
Buckhorn Valley Wild: MVP Offense ” Mariah Ulvestad; MVP Defense ” Cappie Green; MIP ” Nancy Wheeler
In addition to team sponsors, the MWHL also receives additional sponsorship from George Shaeffer Construction Company, who has supported women’s hockey in Eagle County for each of the MWHL’s six seasons.