Players in the Craig-Arapahoe Midget hockey game get set for a faceoff Saturday afternoon at the Moffat County Ice Rink. The Craig hockey team lost its first four games of the season, but showed marked improvement, coach Tanya Ferguson said.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Players in the Craig-Arapahoe Midget hockey game get set for a faceoff Saturday afternoon at the Moffat County Ice Rink. The Craig hockey team lost its first four games of the season, but showed marked improvement, coach Tanya Ferguson said.

Craig hockey drops two to start season

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The Craig “Midget” hockey players kicked off their season with a quartet of games of games Saturday and Sunday.

The Midgets, the 14-18 age group of players in the Colorado Amateur Hockey Association’s Colorado Competitive Youth Hockey League, dropped the puck for the first time Saturday versus Aspen at 11 a.m. and against Arapahoe at 4:30 p.m. They followed it up with another game versus Arapahoe Sunday morning, and closed against Regis Sunday at 1 p.m.

The results did not come out in the Bulldogs' favor. They lost 11-0, 13-0, 11-0 and 10-0, respectively.

Despite the lopsided results, Bulldogs coach Tanya Ferguson was not discouraged. She said teams in Craig are playing at a disadvantage at the start of most seasons.

“We have a lot of new players this year,” Ferguson said. “We only have two seniors and one of them was actually at a girls tournament this weekend, so we were missing her. We have a brand new goalie. This was his seventh time in goalie gear. So the scores might not show it, but he did awesome.”

Beyond the new additions to the team for the 2012-13 season, the Bulldogs also must shake off the rust in each new season. While many of their counterparts from the Denver area (Arapahoe and Regis included) are able to play on ice year-round, the players in Craig have been practicing only since early October.

The limited practice time has Ferguson still searching for the correct lineups and synergy between her players.

“Right now I’m just looking to see who works well together,” she said. “If you don’t work well with others, you don’t trust them, it’s going to be really hard to run our system.”

In just a day, Ferguson said she saw improvement in her team's play.

"It was a big turnaround," she said. "We were even short a couple players who had too many penalties Saturday, but they stepped it up and played well. Saturday we had eight shots, and then Sunday we had 14 on goal and 20 total."

"We have a long season and it's going to get better."

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com. Follow Craig Daily Press sports coverage on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.

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