Special to the Daily Press
After coming off a weekend full of hockey with four games in three days, the Moffat County Bulldog club hockey team hosted two more games Monday against an old friend and rival, the Uintah Utes from Vernal, Utah.
The Bulldogs won both games, 3-2 and 6-3, respectively.
"We always enjoy playing against the team from Craig," Utes head coach Dave Pipher said. "We've had such great games for so may years I wish we were both in the same league like past years."
The Utes played in the Rocky Mountain Youth Hockey League but have since moved on and now play in the Utah High School Athletic Association League where they are third in their division.
"Games with the Utes are always exciting and fun to watch," Bulldog coach Jay Oxley said.
In the first game, it took the Bulldogs three shots to get the game's first goal, as Scott Smith passed to Bo Boatright, who from the blue line rocketed a slap shot past Utes' goalie Pat Kemp.
Down 1-0, the Utes scored 52 seconds into the second period as Tim Larsen put the puck past Bulldog goalie Spencer Wayman.
The Bulldogs struck next. At 10:22 Moffat County's Mike Lefler deflected a slap shot from teammate Jacob Baron to put the Bulldogs up by one, 2-1.
With 42 seconds left in the second period, the Utes tied the game at 2-2, as Larsen again found the back of the Bulldogs net.
The Bulldogs pulled out the victory in the third period, which was marked by solid passing and great plays by both teams. With 5 minutes left in the game, Bulldog Cory Wojtkiewicz pushed the puck past the Utes' goalie with an assist from Boatright to put the Bulldogs.
The Utes put 12 shots on goal in the final minutes, but they could not get past Wayman. "Wayman played a good game," coach Oxley said.
In the 3-2 victory, the Bulldogs out shot the Utes, 22-15.
The Bulldogs struck first when Colt Criswell took Wojtkiewicz' pass -- from behind the net -- to put the puck in the top left corner.
The Utes tied the game when Larsen scored on a break away.
The Utes put the pressure on Bulldog goalie Curt Ellgen, as Ute Dwight Stewart received a pass from James Thompson to flip the puck over Ellgen's right should to put the Utes up 2-1 in the second period.
The Bulldogs responded, as Wojtkiewicz scored on an assist from Ian Forgay at 6:03 to tie the game.
At the end of the second period, the Bulldogs stole the puck from a Ute player and Moffat County's Thayne Anderson broke away to put in a wrist shot. Entering the third, the Bulldogs led, 3-2.
In the final frame, Bulldog defenseman David Wooden took the puck the full length of the ice, passing several Utes with some "great moves" to score an unassisted goal.
The Utes came back and scored at 8:00 when Jake Stearns received a pass from Larsen to put the Utes within one goal.
The Bulldogs came up big late in the game.
Bulldog Cole Dubois found the back of the Utes net at 4:54 with an assist from Ethan Robinson and Joel Pomeroy scored 1:10 later with an assist from Boatright to give the Bulldogs a 6-3 win.
Ellgen had 12 saves on 15 shots on goal, while the Bulldogs put 22 shots on goal.
"We are so evenly matched, and they play us hard ever time; we just got the final say on this one," Boatright said.
The Bulldogs face the Utes again with a team from Rock Springs and Salt Lake City in a tournament Feb. 2 and 3 in Vernal.
The Bulldog's next league game is against the Oak Creek Kodiaks this Friday at 7 p.m. at the Moffat County Ice Rink.