Though it was a consolation game, Sunday's midget hockey showdown between Moffat County and Steamboat Springs had the feeling of a championship bout.
Highlighted by big hits and high intensity, Moffat County downed Steamboat 2-1 on Sunday in the 11th Annual Ski Town USA Hockey Festival.
"This one feels good," Joel Pomeroy said after scoring both of Moffat County's goals. "Yeah, this one feels real good."
After skating to a scoreless first period, Pomeroy capitalized on an opportunity less than a minute into the second period.
After a shot was fired from the top of the right circle, the puck caromed off behind the boards and onto Pomeroy's stick just outside of the crease. Pomeroy finished the job by sneaking the puck past Steamboat goalie Ian Berry.
Four minutes later, Pomeroy found himself in the right place again. On the power play, Moffat County's T.J. Anderson shot the puck from the point. Berry wasn't able to handle it and Pomeroy finished the job, this time over Berry's right shoulder.
"We just got the puck in deep, got some shots and got some rebounds," Pomeroy said.
In the third period, Steamboat cut the deficit to one, when Charlie Smith knifed through two defenders, got pulled down and still managed to put one above Moffat County goalie Bryce Ponikvar's shoulder.
It was the only blemish on Ponikvar's sparkling day in net. Ponikvar stopped 25 shots including four in the last two minutes when Steamboat was on the power play. It was Moffat County's second win against Steamboat in the tournament. On Friday, Moffat County downed Steamboat 3-2.
In both games, Steamboat's physicality proved to be costly and led to penalties. Pomeroy said Moffat County knew Steamboat wanted to be physical, but said Moffat had to play smart.
"We knew they wanted to hit hard," he said. "We just had to play our game and not take dumb penalties."
Moffat County was in the consolation game after a 5-0 loss to Cheyenne and a 2-1 loss to Providence on Saturday.