Craig Bantam hockey team runners-up at home tourney | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig Bantam hockey team runners-up at home tourney

Midget team drops 2 in Steamboat Springs

Jesse Earle, center, takes possession of the puck for the Craig Cougars Bantam team, backed up by teammates Brayden Tuttle and goalie Josh Worster. The team placed was 2-1 during the weekend, placing second in its Battle for the Biscuit tournament with opponents from Green Mountain Falls and Lafayette.

Two out of three ain't bad for the Craig Youth Hockey Association.

The Cougars Bantam team took second in the three-team Battle for the Biscuit tournament Saturday and Sunday at Loudy-Simpson Park, playing against Green Mountain Falls and Lafayette with YMCA of Boulder Valley.

Craig led the way Saturday, topping GMF, 4-3, and Lafayette, 8-1, with Lafayette's Jr. Buffs getting trounced in the first round by GMF, 10-0. However, GMF's Catamounts struck back in the final round against the Cougars, taking the event's championship title after a narrow 2-1 victory Sunday.

"As far as speed, shooting, all-around, we were very well-matched against Green Mountain Falls," coach Tim Knez said.

The close game was an indication of how well the 5-2-4-1 team has played throughout the season, including a dominance over league opponents in December, he added.

If they keep playing this way, hopefully we'll make it to a playoff berth," Knez said.

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The Bantam team's remaining schedule includes Aspen, Fraser and West Elk.

In their first games of 2015 and first regular games of the season, CYHA's Midget team lost both parts of a doubleheader in Steamboat Springs, 6-0 and 8-1.

Coach Randy Armstrong said the group is still getting in the swing of things after a late start to the season, their only competitive experience so far a tournament in Glenwood Springs the prior weekend.

"They have to figure each other out, and we haven't had enough game time to do that yet and get into set lines and set positions," he said. "Once we get ourselves going and figuring things out, I think they're going to be doing just fine. I don't think they were discouraged at the end of the games, they were just getting a better feel for the game and for each other, and that's the biggest thing."

The Midget team will travel to Gunnison and Crested Butte for dual games against West Elk Saturday and Sunday, a team the Bulldogs first glimpsed in Glenwood.

"The Gunnison coaches are a great bunch of guys, and I think they'll help us develop this weekend," Armstrong said. "I'm excited to see what happens."

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

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