Jay Oxley expected the match between the Moffat County Bulldog hockey team and Glenwood Springs to be tough. The Grizzlies fulfilled his expectations.
"They're a big, fast and good team," Oxley said after the Bulldogs lost 4-0 and 6-1 on Friday at Loudy-Simpson Ice Arena. "We were missing a couple of guys from break, and even with them, it would have been tough."
The Bulldogs hung with the Grizzlies at only one point. That was in the first period in the second game. The Bulldogs' Bo Boatright scored when he received a pass from Colt Criswell on the left side of the goal with 12 minutes, 54 seconds remaining in the period.
That tied the game at 1-1. But it didn't last long.
Glenwood's Matt Miller gave his team back the lead after a power-play goal with 6:03 remaining in the period.
Miller added an assist to Kevin Young for a 3-1 lead with 1:39 remaining in the period.
The Bulldogs were outshot 17-4 in the first period. That didn't help goalie Malcolm Hillewaert, who returned to the net admittedly rusty.
"Malcolm didn't have his best night," Oxley said. "I think he learned what happens when you don't practice."
In the second game, the Grizzlies had a 32-12 shot advantage.
"We let too many unanswered goals get past us," Oxley said. "We weren't getting enough shots, or at least good shots, at the goal."
After a scoreless second period, the Grizzlies finished the game with a three-goal third period. Two goals came from Colby Burling and one came from Hunter Darien. Ryan Gauthier was credited for all three assists.
The numbers were similar in the first game.
The Grizzlies had 38 shots on goal to 18 for the Bulldogs. Moffat County goalie Bryce Ponikvar made 22 saves, but couldn't send away four shots.
The Grizzlies wore down the Bulldogs in the third period. Glenwood put 19 shots on Ponikvar in the period. Only one made its way past the goalie.
"Bryce played well tonight," Oxley said. "We didn't make it easy on him."
Despite being outscored 10-1, the team played better than the first meetings against Glenwood at the start of the season, Brett Lindgren said.
"Our positioning and our skating were better," he said. "We lost to a tough team, and we were without several of our experienced players."
"The first time, we were so overpowered we looked like a squirts team out there," he said. "Tonight, we moved the puck and played our positions."
The losses dropped the Bulldogs to 6-7-1 in the season.