Craig The Moffat County Bulldog Hockey club gave a rude welcome to last year's team captain, Bo Boatright, on Saturday, dispatching the former leader's new team, Grand Valley, 8-3 and 2-0 at the Moffat County Ice Arena to remain undefeated.
Boatwright tallied 32 goals last year for the Bulldogs, earning a spot on the Mesa State University hockey team in Grand Junction.
Boatright also plays for the Grand Valley Junior Mavericks, a Midget Major A team that traveled to Craig for a non-league matchup Saturday.
"It's fun playing against my old team," Boatright said. "I know all those guys really well. We are still friends."
Moffat County's defense wasn't too friendly Saturday, shutting out their former captain throughout the two games.
"We took him out of his game early," assistant coach Gene Carson said. "The last time he played us he did really well. We knew what we had to do to get him off his game, and we did it."
Nathan Tomlin led the Bulldogs' attack in the first game, assisting on three of the eight Moffat County goals. Colt Criswell was closely behind his teammate, scoring twice.
"It means more to us to beat them with him on their team," Tomlin said, pointing at Boatright. "We've been stepping it up lately, and we don't plan on slowing down."
The contest turned more physical in the second game, a 2-0 Moffat County shutout, something head coach Jim Hall had worried about after losing three of four exhibition games to the Junior Mavericks earlier in the year.
"They tried to play our style in the first game, and it played into our hands," Hall said. "In the second game, I knew they were going to try to make it a physical game and try to change our tempo. It worked for them for a while."
"For a while" was into the third period.
With the game scoreless, Criswell struck again. The speedy winger juked two Grand Valley defenders and blasted a slap shot from the blue line past the Junior Mavericks goalie for what would prove to be the game-winning goal.
It was the tenth goal of the season for Criswell, in 10 games played.
"We started off slow," he said. "Then we came together. I'm shooting for a state championship."
Ellgen was superb in net, stopping 24 shots to earn his second shutout of the season.
"It doesn't get any better than that," Ellgen said. "A shutout is the top of the line when you're a goalie."
Moffat County (9-0-1 overall, 5-0 Rocky Mountain Youth Hockey League) will host the Uintah Utes in a double-header, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Moffat County ice Arena.
John Vandelinder can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or firstname.lastname@example.org