The Bulldog club hockey team got into gear this weekend at the Turkey Bowl tournament in Eagle.
"These early season tournaments are a great way to get tun-ed up for our upcoming league games," coach Jay Oxley said.
The Bulldogs' first game was on Friday afternoon against the Highland Hills Jaguars. Powered by two Bo Boatright goals, Moffat County won, 4-1.
Boatright won the opening face-off and scored on an unassisted goal 21 seconds into the game.
The Jaguars came back 1:21 later with a goal of their own.
The Bulldogs answered with Boatright's second goal on a pass from Ian Forgay. The first period ended with the Bulldogs up, 2-1.
Six minutes into the second period, Forgay scored the Bulldogs' third goal. Assists from Boatright and Cole Dubois, helped Forgay put the puck in the net.
About two minutes later, Dubois scored the final Bulldog goal on an assist from Cory Wojtkiewicz.
Bulldog goalie Bryce Ponikvar had seven saves on eight shots, and the Bulldogs put 23 shots on goal.
On Friday night, the Bulldogs faced the Pueblo Panthers, the No. 1 seed in the tournament.
"If you can even score against this team, consider it a win," tournament director Al McClean said.
The Bulldogs soon found out why the Panthers were ranked No. 1.
The Panthers scored seven goals, with three of them coming short-handed.
"That team was a well-disciplined and coached team," Oxley said. "We just have to tip our hats to them and tell them good luck in the tournament."
Goalie Spencer Wayman faced 25 shots on goal from the Panthers. Moffat County put up six shots on goal and fell to the Panthers, 7-0.
The Bulldogs then faced the No. 2-seeded Glenwood Grizzlies in an early morning game Saturday.
"We were playing a great game in the first period with only one penalty," Oxley said. "But then we got into some penalty problems."
With 10 minutes worth of penalties on the Bulldogs during the second period, Glenwood scored at 8:07 on a power play. The second period ended with Glenwood ahead, 1-0.
The third period saw both teams battling it out on each end of the sheet. With the Bulldogs pressing late in the third in front of the Glenwood goal, the puck ricocheted off a Grizzlies player, who was able to break away and score with just 41 seconds left in the game to give Glenwood the 2-0 victory.
"Ponikvar did a great job in the net," Oxley said. "We've been practicing all week to put more shots on goal."
Ponikvar faced 35 shots from Glenwood, while the Bulldogs put up 17 shots on goal.
"If we could have just had a few more shots and a little more effort out of some of our players, this game could have gone our way," Oxley said.
After the loss, the Bulldogs were ready to play Saturday night.
They faced Vail-Eagle, who struck first at 7:05 in the first period. After the initial goal by Vail-Eagle, the Bulldogs went on a barrage.
Colt Criswell scored at 13:05 in the first on an assist from Dubois to end the first period tied, 1-1.
In the second period, the Bulldogs' effort started to pay off.
Joel Pomeroy scored two goals, the first with an assist from Thane Anderson, and the second on a pass from Boatright.
At 11:06 defenseman Ethan Robinson got a breakaway and shot past the Vail-Eagle goalie.
Pomeroy added one more goal to complete the hat trick at 14:40.
Early in the third period, Criswell tacked on another goal with an assist from Robinson to put the Bulldogs up, 6-1.
Then the momentum changed.
"We received 33 minutes of penalties in the third period," Oxley said. "We had no reason to commit that many penalties when we were up by five goals."
Vail-Eagle scored five times in eight minutes.
With the score tied 6-6, the Bulldogs pressed for a goal, but a Vail-Eagle defenseman gathered and covered the puck in the goalie's crease.
The penalty by Vail-Eagle gave the Bulldogs a penalty shot that Moffat County's David Wooden took.
His shot went right and hit the post.
"The game ended in a tie, but that was the best effort we put out during the whole tournament," Oxley said. "If the whole team puts out that much effort during our league games, we'll do alright this year."
Bulldog goalie Curt Ellgen stopped 31 shots on goal, and the Bulldogs put up 15 shots on goal.
The Bulldogs ended the tournament at 1-2-1. Up next for the Bulldogs is the Ski Town Tournament in Steamboat Spr-ings, scheduled for Dec. 1 to 3.