To hear Moffat County hockey coach Darin Hickey say it, Sunday's two home blowout wins against the Gunnison junior varsity squad were much needed.
On Friday, the Bulldogs lost to Crested Butte, 3-1 and 6-2.
The club hockey team responded Sunday with a 5-0 victory against the Gunnison Blades in the first game -- paced by Bo Boatwright's hat trick -- and 12-0 in the second game -- where Boatwright and Scott Smith each netted a hat trick.
"It's tough to tell the kids to shut down," Hickey said of the blowout victories. "We needed this win. We needed the moral.
"The players asserted themselves. They all seemed to come with that hockey attitude."
The Bulldogs (3-5-1) got going early in the first game, as Mark Oxley scored with 8:19 in the first period. Seven minutes later, Smith scored a goal off a Mike Lefler assist.
Boatwright netted his hat trick to close out the scoring, with a goal in the second and two in the third. T.J. Anderson assisted on three goals, and Ian Forgay assisted on one.
"We outskated them and we passed well," Boatwright said. "I think our passing was the best it's ever been."
Smith, who scored the first and last goals in the second game as part of his hat trick, agreed.
"We got our passes down," Smith said. "Everybody was just connecting."
Smith's goal in the second game was the lone score in the first period. In the second and third periods, the Bulldogs scored five and six goals respectively, evoking the mercy rule -- meaning the clock ran continuously -- early in the third period.
Oxley and Joel Pomeroy each scored two goals in the contest, while Cole Dubois and Anderson each netted one.
Oxley and Cory Wojtkiewicz each had two assists, while Smith, Anderson, Pomeroy and Boatwright each had one.
In goal, Bryce Ponikvar netted 11 saves on 31 Blade shots in the first game, while Spencer Wayman had five saves on five shots in the second.
The Bulldogs host the Unitah Utes at 10 and 11:30 a.m. today.
"If we play like we did today, we should be fine," Smith said.
Jerry Raehal can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 204, or firstname.lastname@example.org.