Shannon Young, of the Craig Puck Ewes, drives toward the net Saturday against Crested Butte. The Ewes finished fourth in the seventh annual Mardi Gras women's hockey tournament Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Moffat County Ice Arena.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Shannon Young, of the Craig Puck Ewes, drives toward the net Saturday against Crested Butte. The Ewes finished fourth in the seventh annual Mardi Gras women's hockey tournament Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Moffat County Ice Arena.

Ewes finish 4th in tournament

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Mardi Gras 2009 women's tournament

Feb. 6, 7 and 8, Moffat County Ice Arena

Final standings:

Champions Crested Butte

2. Telluride

3. Pueblo

4. Craig Puck Ewes

5. Wyoming

6. Steamboat

Puck Ewes game results

Friday

Telluride 6 Craig 1

Saturday

Craig 3 Pueblo 1

Crested Butte 3 Craig 2

Sunday - Third-place game

Pueblo 3 Craig 0

The Craig Puck Ewes women's hockey team took a break from league play last weekend.

Sort of.

The Ewes played host to five teams Friday, Saturday and Sunday in their seventh annual Mardis Gras Tournament at Moffat County Ice Arena.

The Ewes came up short on their home ice, finishing the event fourth overall with a 1-3 record.

"It's a pretty competitive event," Ewes winger Stephanie Beckett said. "There's a wide variety of girls that come up from all kinds of different places. There was some really good hockey played out there."

Craig opened the event Friday night against Telluride. They lost, 6-1.

The Beavers out shot the Ewes, 25-17, in the game, and if not for a goal in the first period by Jamie Eckroth, Craig would have been shut out.

"It was bad," Beckett said. "We just didn't get rolling that game."

The Ewes rebounded Saturday morning, skating past the Pueblo Little Caesars, 3-1.

Beckett's goal off a pass from Lani Cleverly put Craig up one in the first period.

"I was right in front of the net, and Lani gave me a really good pass," Beckett said. "I was behind the goalie, and I just pushed it in. It was great."

But the lead was short-lived.

Pueblo tied the game with less than two minutes to play in the frame.

Late in the second period the Ewes took the lead on a goal by forward Terri Jourgensen, and with less than a minute to go in the frame, Beckett scored her second goal of the game on an assist by Eckroth.

"Jamie shot it in there, and I slammed in the rebound," Beckett said.

The Ewes out shot Pueblo, 17-4, in the final frame, but couldn't extend their lead, finishing the game with a 3-1 victory.

Unfortunately, it would be the Ewes' lone victory in their home tournament.

Craig faced the eventual tournament champion Crested Butte Red Ladies on Saturday night, and lost, 3-2.

But, not without some late game drama.

Eckroth fed winger Tammy Strahan for her first goal of the tourney, giving the home team the lead heading into the second frame.

Crested Butte came out fired up in the second, scoring two quick goals to reverse the one-goal deficit, but the Ewes answered.

With less than a minute remaining in the period, Eckroth found the back of the Red Ladies net, tying the game at two heading into the final period.

The teams struggled offensively in the game's final eight minutes, until Crested Butte scored the game-winner with 2:23 left in regulation.

A 1-2 record in pool play earned Craig a spot in the third-place game against the only team they had beaten - Pueblo.

Pueblo came away on top in the rematch Sunday morning, skating to a 3-0 victory.

With the loss, Craig finished fourth in the event.

In the seven years the tournament has been played, Craig's best finish was third last year.

"We are going to win it one of these times," Beckett said. "But, even though we didn't, it's still a lot of fun.

John Vandelinder can be reached at 875-1793 or jvandelinder@craigdailypress.com

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