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Bulldogs club hockey team hopes to rebound from 0-6 start

Moffat County Bulldogs goalie Trent Parrott dives on a puck during the Moffat County Bulldogs club hockey team’s game Dec. 17 against Crested Butte. Parrott has faced 252 shots in the Bulldogs first six games. The team is 0-6 this season. Captain Ethan O’Mailia said the defense will need to play as a unit if the Bulldogs hope to bounce back.

Bulldogs club hockey team’s 2011-12 season so far:

(Date — location — opponent — outcome)

• Dec. 3 — away — Durango/Telluride — 5-3L

• Dec. 3 — away — Glenwood Springs — 5-1L

• Dec. 4 — away — Durango/Telluride — 4-2L

• Dec. 17 — home — Glenwood Springs — 3-1L

• Dec. 17 — home — Crested Butte — 7-1L

• Dec. 18 — home — Crested Butte — 6-1L

— The Bulldogs are 0-6.

Bulldogs club hockey team’s remaining schedule:

(Date — location — opponent)

• Jan. 21 — away — Glenwood Springs

• Jan. 21 — away — Grand Valley

• Jan. 22 — away — Grand Valley

• Jan. 22 — away — Glenwood Springs

• Jan. 28 — away — Crested Butte

• Jan. 28 — away — Durango/Telluride

• Jan. 29 — away — Durango/Telluride

• Jan. 29 — away — Crested Butte

• Feb. 4 — home — Glenwood Springs

• Feb. 4 — home — Grand Valley

• Feb. 5 — home — Grand Valley

Bulldogs club hockey team’s season stats:

(Player — goals — assists)

• Dyland Trevenen — 3 — 1

• Wyatt Villa — 2 — 0

• Alfredo Lebron — 1 — 1

Bulldogs club hockey team’s goalie stats:

(Player — goals against — saves)

• Trent Parrott — 29 — 223

Ethan O'Mailia is the first to admit when his unit is hampering the play of the Moffat County Bulldogs club hockey team.

As a senior defender and team captain, O'Mailia said the team's defense needs to pick things up if the Bulldogs want to work their way out of an early 0-6 start to the season.

"Our weakness is that we leave the back door open a lot," O'Mailia said. "It is an easy place for teams to pass and score, and we need to work harder on shutting that down."

Goalie Trent Parrott faced 131 shots in three games Dec. 17 and 18 at Moffat County Ice Arena.

Parrott was shot on 121 times in the Bulldogs first three games Dec. 3 and 4 in Glenwood Springs.

Comparatively, the Bulldogs got off 37 shots in Glenwood Springs and 41 at home.

O'Mailia said the defense could benefit from back-checking, or the offensive forwards skating back into the defensive zone to help defend opponents.

"If we could get back faster and catch our opponent's forwards on their way into our zone, it would help a lot," he said. "If we can strengthen our defense, all we have to do is put more shots on net and we will start winning games."

The Bulldogs have lost to Glenwood Springs, Crested Butte and Durango/Telluride twice each and play each team two more times this season.

Moffat County will also play Grand Valley four times in January and February.

Center Dyland Trevenen has led the team in scoring with three goals.

"Dyland has stepped up and he is one of the guys that back-checks and has made sharp, clean passes," O'Mailia said of his teammate. "He is always in the correct position and that helps us run our game plan smoother."

Wyatt Villa has two goals for the Bulldogs this season and Alfredo Lebron has a goal and an assist.

O'Mailia said the team's major strength is speed.

"A lot of the time, we are able to out-skate the kid we are covering and get to the puck before them," he said. "That puts us in a better position faster and it lets us get the puck into our offensive zone quicker."

When the Bulldogs are on offense, that is when they play their best hockey, O'Mailia said.

The problem, he said, is opposing teams have been "sharper" on the ice.

"The teams we have been facing have had very clean breakouts and have had sharp, crisp passing and they benefit from that," O'Mailia said. "I think we have played good, we just need to work a little more on playing as a team to stop our opponents."

The Bulldogs get back on the ice Jan. 21 and 22 in Glenwood Springs to face Glenwood and Grand Valley.

A year removed from a third-place finish in the Frozen Four, O'Mailia said teamwork is going to be key to finishing the season strong.

"We need to work on defensive drills and passing and breakouts, but we need more communication," he said. "When we are on the ice, we need to talk more and call out when we are open for passes.

"We can play great hockey, we just need to play all together."