Cougars log three victories in two days
December 30, 2001
By ELWOOD K. SHELTON
Daily Press writer
Senior center Alton Simones is becoming so tricky that they may have to start calling him the Houdinie of hockey.
Simones posted his second hat trick of the year Saturday, putting three in the net against the Vernal Utes, this coming just a week after Simones, along with Travis Menge and Mike Armstrong, scored the Cougars first hat-tricks of the season against the Oak Creek Kodiaks with Menge and Armstrong scoring three apiece, while Simones hit the net four times.
If not the lone scorer, Simones was the lone trickster when the Cougars took on Vernal in the last game of the weekend.
In the first minute and a half of the Vernal game, Simiones, Menge and Jason Phillips all found the net, each scoring. Simiones put in two more to make the final score 5-1.
“They moved Trey Groham up to our line instead of Kiel Nielson, and everything just clicked,” Simons said.
The 5-1 finish to the weekend was preceded by a two-game and two-win series against the Telluride Lizzards, beating them both times 3-1.
In the first game against the Lizzards, Kevin Oxley, Cody DeGuelle and Menge were the three scorers; in the second game Menge found the net twice and Jordan Anthony finished it off with one goal.
The three-game winning streak improves the Cougars overall recorded to 15-0.
“Telluride was a good squad, probably one of the best we’ve seen so far this season,” coach Josh Magnuson said. “We’re just lucky we got them up here this weekend it was looking questionable.”
Earlier this week, in the mist of finding replacements for the four teams who opted out of the Craig tournament, it was questionable whether Telluride would show up.
To ensure the trip was worth their time, the Lizzards coach said they had to play at least four games. And, although the tournament did not end up being played, assistant coach Randy Armstrong lined up enough teams to guarantee Telluride four games.
The four participating teams were Telluride, Vernal, the Steamboat Braves and the Cougars. All teams played each other with the exception of the Steamboat Braves and the Craig Cougars.
“I don’t know what it is, but the Steamboat coaches just refuse to play us,” Magnuson said.