Red Dogs host tourney tradition

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The best hockey that fans can watch within a four-hour drive will be in Craig this weekend.

While the Colorado Avalanche team is in Denver, the Craig Red Dogs will host a tournament this weekend for adult teams from the region.

"It's the closest thing to semi-professional hockey you'll see around here," Red Dogs President and player Greg Neal said.

Eight teams from Wyoming, Utah and Colorado will be in town starting Friday night at the Loudy-Simpson Ice Arena.

"It's the biggest hockey tournament in Northwest Colorado," Neal said. "It's also some of the best hockey you'll see around here."

The Red Dogs are the men's adult team in Craig. They play in a Steamboat Springs league and also travel for games in the region. The Red Dogs are 8-4 for the season.

"Our defense has been solid this year," Neal said. "Steve Ivers has been outstanding for us in goal."

Forward Al German leads the team with 14 goals.

The tournament starts Friday evening with the traditional barbecue. The women's team from Craig, the Puck Ewes, will host the meal and offer drinks and food for a donation.

"It's a good time all weekend," Neal said. "We try to make it a good time for everybody involved."

Last year, the Red Dogs finished third in the tournament and go into this year's event seeded fourth. A team from Denver is the first seed, followed by the Crested Butte Powder Pigs and the Steamboat Springs Coyotes.

The Red Dogs play Rock Springs, Wyo., in their first game at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The tournament is from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday at Loudy-Simpson. Attendance is free for spectators.

"There are former college and pro players on some of the teams," Neal said. "Even the first-time fan will enjoy some of the hockey this weekend."

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