Craig Squirt, Peewee hockey gain goals galore in Gunnison playoff games
With some of the toughest competition of the Western Slope in store for them this past weekend ranging from wolverines to coyotes to steam engines, the Craig Youth Hockey Association Cougars kept at it to complete the playoffs heads held high.
CYHA’s 10 and under Squirts and 12U Peewees had a combined 10 games during the Continental Divide Youth Hockey League postseason games March 1 to 3 in Gunnison, with Squirts going 3-1-1 and Peewees 2-3 to place third and fourth, respectively.
The Peewees began and ended their stretch with defeats to West Elk hosts, 8-3 to the Wolverines’ white squad and 5-2 against their blue team. In the middle of the tournament, the Cougars also fell to Durango 6-3.
The Craig group coached by Jim Neton swept the Grand Junction Coyotes when they faced them twice in the tourney, with wins of 4-3 and 3-2.
Cougar goalie Caden Bugay was in the net for all five games, earning 116 saves altogether, while Logan Durham led the team in scoring with four goals, with three each for Ryan Booker and Grant Sis, two for Zane Durham, and one each for Memphis Herndon, Hayden Urroz, and Zane Herod.
Patrick Neton completed two assists, with one A apiece for Herndon, Sis and Wyatt Schell.
The Cougar Squirts began the weekend with an 8-3 victory over Pikes Peak Catamount, which included a hat trick by Boston Armstrong, two goals each for Eric Warrior and Jaryd Preston and one for Ellie Schell.
Keeper Quinn Allen recorded 84 saves during the weekend with the group gaining 8-3 and 6-0 wins over Telluride’s green team and a 4-4 tie with Grand Junction before falling 7-5 when they rematched the Coyotes.
Boston Armstrong had 14 total points with 11 goals and three assists, followed by Warrior with 13, three assists and 10 goals, including a hat trick against Grand Junction.
Preston added seven goals and three assists, while Eli Francone, Lucas Himmerite, and Ellie Schell each finished with one in the net.
“Even though a few of the kids didn’t score they were doing all of the right things on the ice, pressuring the play and hustling hard on the back check,” said coach Mike Armstrong. “It was a fun and exciting way to end the year, and I’m very proud of how far everyone came this season.”