High school level hockey team completes season

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It wasn't what they wanted, but members of the Craig Cougars high school level hockey team settled for a third place finish Saturday at Loudy-Simpson Ice Arena during a Rocky Mountain Youth Hockey Association tournament.

In the first game of the tournament, the Cougars battled Kremmling, Colo., to a 1-1 tie after regulation play.

"In the overtime period, we pick five players from each team to take a shot on goalie and whoever makes the most goals wins," said Cougars coach Josh Magnuson.

In the shootout, Craig put the net in the puck one time while Kremmling scored twice to escape with a 3-2 win and knock the Cougars into the consolation bracket.

During regulation, Travis Menge scored the lone goal for the Cougars and in the shootout, Cody DeGuelle found the back of the net.

"We should have won the Kremmling game," said Magnuson. "There was a miscommunication between our defense and our goalie. The goal that Kremmling had in regulation, the puck trickled into our goal."

In the second game of the tournament, the Cougars tormented Oak Creek, 8-0. Menge scored a hat trick (three goals) to pace the team. Bryce Fenten, DeGuelle, Thad McCollum, Cole Nielson and Kyle Nielson all had a goal apiece.

"We had our intensity up. Oak Creek and us have always had bad blood," said Magnuson. "This last time we played them a brawl broke out.

"We just wanted to keep our heads in the game and run up the score, because we knew we could."

In the game for third and fourth place, Craig beat Eagle Valley, 5-3.

Menge led the way with two goals, Casey Kilpatrick and Fenton each finished with one goal.

"It was good to see us bounce back and win the final two games of the tournament," said Magnuson.

In the tournament title game, Gunnison, Colo., edged Kremmling, 2-1, to take home the top spot.

The Cougars finished the season with a 13-5 record.

"During the year I saw some improvement," said Magnuson. "We showed a little bit more maturity throughout the season with the kids.

"We still have a lot to work on. We had 11 guys on the team. We had two lines and a goalie. We didn't have that big of a team this year."

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