Mark Samuelson

Mark Samuelson

Cool temperaments, sharp experience

Club hockey team returning five contributors from last season’s 10-6 squad

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Club hockey player CJ Walt calls for the puck during a Bulldogs practice at the Moffat County Ice Arena. The team’s first game is a home match against Telluride on Saturday, Dec. 11.

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The Moffat County club hockey team is, back row, from left, assistant coach Kevin Oxley, Jarret Walt, Jarred Blevins, Nathan Tomlin, Steve Wagner, Kelsie Pomeroy, Bubba Ivers, Michael Samuelson, Nick Bulla, CJ Walt, and coach Mark Samuelson. Shown in the front row, from left, is Taylor Shrode, Wyatt Villa, Matthew Balderston, Conner Pogline, Brenden Spencer and Trent Parrot. Not pictured are assistant coaches Mark Bangs and Mike Armstrong and players Taylor Bangs, Cade Bangs, Dyland Trevenen and Ethan O'Mailia.

Moffat County club hockey team 2010-11 season schedule:

Date Opponent Location

Dec. 11 Telluride Moffat County Ice Arena

Dec. 12 Telluride Moffat County Ice Arena

Dec. 15 Steamboat Springs Howelsen Ice Arena

Jan. 8 Durango Jorgensen Park Rink

Jan. 8 Gunnison Jorgensen Park Rink

Jan. 9 Durango Jorgensen Park Rink

Jan. 9 Gunnison Jorgensen Park Rink

Jan. 14 Steamboat Springs Howelsen Ice Arena

Jan. 16 Kremmling Oak Creek Kodiak Ice Arena

Jan. 16 Kremmling Oak Creek Kodiak Ice Arena

Jan. 27 Steamboat Springs Moffat County Ice Arena

Feb. 5 Crested Butte Jorgensen Park Rink

Feb. 5 Gunnison Jorgensen Park Rink

Feb. 6 Gunnison Jorgensen Park Rink

Feb. 6 Crested Butte Jorgensen Park Rink

Feb. 11 Kremmling Moffat County Ice Arena

Feb. 11 Kremmling Moffat County Ice Arena

Feb. 17 Steamboat Springs Moffat County Ice Arena

Returning players’ 2009-10 statistics:

Player Goals Assists Total Points

Nathan Tomlin 5 6 11

Michael Samuelson 5 4 9

Jarret Walt 2 6 8

Bubba Ivers 2 5 7

CJ Walt 3 3 6

Overall season record: 10-6

Mark Samuelson is new to coaching hockey at the high school level.

But, with 11 years of experience coaching in the younger age groups of the Craig hockey scene, he’s run into a few of the players on the Moffat County Bulldogs club team. He knows what he’s getting into and how well the members of his team already know each other.

“There’s a core group here that have been skating together since they were 5 years old and it’s fun to watch them play because they always know where they’re going to be,” he said. “That really helps with coaching.”

The Bulldogs hockey team is ready to hit the ice with a roster that includes both fresh faces and returning veterans, including 2010 Moffat County High School graduate Nathan Tomlin.

As the team is not affiliated with the school, Tomlin is still eligible to play on the team because at 18, he still fits within the age limit of the Midget division of the Rocky Mountain Youth Hockey League.

Tomlin said he expects to have a more focused season than he did last year.

“I’m just glad that I don’t have to have wrestling or anything to go along with hockey this year,” he said.

Tomlin is the top returning player this year, with 11 total points — five goals, six assists — last season.

“I think I catch a lot of people off-guard with my speed,” he said. “I’m a pretty good defensive player, too, and I’m kind of an all-around skater.”

Tomlin said he was glad to see the new slots on the team filled by talented players.

“They’re doing good for sure. We have a first-year goalie (Trent Parrott), and I was a little worried about him catching up,” he said. “He’s got a few things he’s got to work on, but he’s catching on pretty good.”

Samuelson said having Tomlin, as well as Bubba Ivers and CJ and Jarret Walt in leadership roles would be very beneficial as the team transitions to having him as a coach.

“I think the amount of experience these kids have and the knowledge that they have is amazing,” Samuelson said.

The team’s first test is a Dec. 11 and 12 doubleheader against Telluride at the Moffat County Ice Arena, 600 S. Ranney.

Samuelson said he is looking forward to the opener, though he doesn’t know what to prepare for in the opposition.

“The thing about the club level is that we don’t get scouting reports and who graduated and who’s left, so we’ll just find out when we hit the ice,” he said.

Still, he knows his history with which teams will provide tough competition.

“Last year, Gunnison won the league, so they’ll be the ones to look out for,” he said.

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