Craig Puck Ewes tie Vail, sink Steamboat

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— The Craig Puck Ewes blanked the Steamboat Springs Edge, 6-0, on Saturday, capping an undefeated weekend road trip that catapulted the team into first place. On Friday, the Puck Ewes skated to a 2-2 tie in Vail.

Heading into Saturday's contest, Puck Ewes goalie Kandice Torno said the team was "searching for some offensive confidence."

The Ewes didn't search for long.

Jenny LeBlanc opened the scoring for Craig, depositing a Shandy Deakins pass into the net with 5:13 remaining in the first period.

Winger Stephanie Beckett scored twice in the second period, off a feed by Tammy Strahan, and an Edge defensive lapse that left her wide open for an unassisted goal with 8:22 left.

Defenseman Shannon Young closed out the second period scoring with 5:36 left to play, putting the Puck Ewes up, 4-0.

Young struck again in the third period.

With the Puck Ewes on the power play, Young took a pass from Charlene Abdella and slid it past the Edge goaltender.

Beckett earned her first hat trick of the year, blasting a wrister into the net for the final margin of victory.

"I thought we played a really solid game Saturday," Torno said. "We took advantage of the mistakes in their own zone."

On Friday, mistakes cost the Ewes a victory.

Craig jumped on the Twin Peaks early, taking a 2-0 lead behind goals from Beckett and Annie Abdella.

The Ewes led until late in the second period, when the Twin Peaks pulled within one on a deflected shot that careened past Craig net minder Kandice Torno.

The tying goal, she admitted, was her fault.

"I made a bone-headed mistake that cost us the win," Torno said. "The puck bounced over my defensemen's stick. I went to routinely play it to the corner, but I whiffed and it trickled into our net."

She made up for it Saturday.

Against the host Edge, Torno stopped all 33 Steamboat shots earning her fifth shutout of the season.

Young leads the team with six goals and three assists. Eckroth has tallied five goals and three assists; Beckett has six goals.

The Puck Ewes (7-4-1 overall, 6-2-1 Women's Association of Colorado Hockey) host the Mardi Gras tournament beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Moffat County Ice Arena.

John Vandelinder can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or jvandelinder@craigdailypress.com

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