Craig Cougars bantam fall in Frozen Four

Hockey team beats Telluride, loses to Durango, Crested Butte at weekend tournament

The Craig Cougars bantam hockey team completed its season Sunday with a loss to Crested Butte in Gunnison during the Frozen Four tournament.

The team advanced to the third round of the double elimination tournament, so­­­me­thing head coach Jason Porter said his players should be proud of.

“We obviously would have liked to go further,” he said. “But we accomplished what we set out to do, and that was to go deep into the tournament.”

The Cougars opened the Frozen Four on Saturday with a 3-2 win against Telluride.

Captain Matt Balderston opened the scoring with a goal in the first period.

Conner Pogline was credited with the assist.

Neither team scored again until the third period, when both teams scored twice.

Tyler Gerber scored for the Cougars, Balderston added another goal, and goalie Trent Parrott saved 21 of 23 shots.

In the second game Saturday, the Cougars fell, 5-2, to Dur­ango.

Balderston scored twice, once in the first period and again in the third period, with Pogline again assisting both.

Parrott stopped 27 of 32 shots.

In the Cougars last game, Crested Butte won, 3-2, in overtime.

The Cougars scored twice in the opening period, with Pogline scoring both and Balderston adding an assist.

Crested Butte added a goal in the first period and tied the game in the third period.

In overtime, Crested Butte’s Dylan Curtis found the goal to end the game.

Parrott was able to stop 11 of 14 shots, while Crested Butte’s Montana Wiggins blocked 18 of 20 shots.

Durango would go on to win the league championship, when they knocked off Crested Butte, 6-2, on Sunday.

Porter said the Cougars faced quality teams in the tournament.

“The competition was tough,” he said. “I thought all the kids played excellent, we just had a small breakdown against Durango.

“But they played well all year and kept getting better and better.”

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