Playing in the last game of 2009, the Moffat County Bulldogs club hockey team was able to knock off the Crested Butte Wolf Pack in a Sunday double-header.
Playing at the Moffat County Ice Arena, the Bulldogs won the first game, 2-1, behind goals from Ethan O’Mailia and Jacob Baron.
The second game saw Moffat County win, 3-1, behind goals from Sean Southard, Wyatt Villa and Cole DuBois.
For Villa, it was his first goal at the club hockey high school level.
“We passed it to the defensemen, and I was able to get out in front,” he said. “I was able to get it in.”
After a bantam hockey career in which he had several goals, the Moffat County High School sophomore said scoring at his new age level was a completely different experience.
“It’s a lot harder,” he said. “Before, you could just skate down the ice and score. In high school, you have to work.”
Villa wasn’t the only Bulldog who put in work sSunday.
Goalie Curt Ellgen was again solid for Moffat County, blocking 27 of 28 shots in the second game of the double header.
Coach Walker Criswell said Ellgen continued his hot streak in the net.
“The goaltending was again superb,” Criswell said. “We saw some good signs, but there are still some things we need to work on a little.”
Criswell said the Bulldogs still are looking for consistency.
“There was one period when they played well,” he said. “There was also one period where they broke down and missed a couple of shots.”
The game remained scoreless after the first period.
Neither team was able to put the puck in the net until there were five minutes left in the second period.
Moffat County’s Southard slipped past a Crested Butte defender and knocked in a goal to give the Bulldogs the first lead of the game.
The Bulldogs scored again with one minute left in the period.
Jarret Walt sent a shot rocketing from Crested Butte’s blue line, and Villa was waiting at the other end to give Moffat County a 2-0 lead heading into the third.
In the third period, Crested Butte needed only four minutes to get on the board.
The Bulldogs were not finished, however.
Almost a minute later, DuBois found some open ice and lined a hard shot past Crested Butte’s goalie to give Moffat County a 3-1 advantage.
With the last game before winter break, Bulldogs coach Jerry Strahan said he was happy to have his team face Crested Butte.
“They are a real class outfit,” he said. “They play clean, and it’s a long drive, so we definitely appreciate it.”
Crested Butte’s captain Sam Evans said the Wolf Pack hasn’t had a lot of time to practice as a team.
“I thought we played well, but we’ve only had one week on our own ice,” he said. “We also had a couple of players hurt. This is also a young team. We have a lot of freshmen and not very many seniors.”
Ben Frame agreed with his captain, saying that a lack of playing time hasn’t allowed the Wolf Pack to find a groove.
“We haven’t really had a chance to get onto our home ice,” Frame said. “We just need to get some team bonding going.”