Moffat County loses to Rock Springs, 4-3 |

Moffat County loses to Rock Springs, 4-3

John Vandelinder

Bulldogs hockey club forward Bubba Ivers scores a goal Friday night against visiting Rock Springs. Moffat County was defeated, 4-3.

Too little, too late.

The Moffat County Bulldog Hockey Club scored two goals in the final four minutes of Friday’s game against visiting Rock Springs, but it couldn’t overcome a three-goal deficit, eventually falling, 4-3.

Forward John Strahan’s shot with 1.7 seconds ricocheted off a Miners stick, effectively ending the Bulldogs’ comeback bid – and the match.

“We fell just short,” Moffat County coach Gene Carson said. “But I will say I’m really proud of the way the guys fought back and never quit. They definitely gave an all-guts performance.”

Rock Springs (1-0-1 overall, 0-0-1 Wyoming Amateur Hockey League), visiting Craig in each team’s nonleague season opener, opened the scoring 10:27 in to the first period while on the game’s first power play.

Wesley Magagna tipped a shot by Luke Aust that found the net behind Bulldog goaltender Spencer Wayman.

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The teams struggled to find any openings offensively and combined for just five shots on goal heading into the second frame. Less than 30 seconds into the period, Rock Springs struck again.

Charles Barnum weaved his way through the Moffat County defense backhanding a shot that was deflected past Wayman by Hayden Beach for a 2-0 lead.

The Bulldogs (3-3 overall, 3-2 Rocky Mountain Youth Hockey League) went on the power play immediately after the Miners’ goal, and made the most of the man advantage.

Bubba Ivers, cutting the two-goal deficit in half, tipped Colt Criswell’s slap shot into the back of the net.

But with less than three minutes remaining in the period, Magagna scored his second goal of the night, putting the home team back in a two-goal hole.

And he wasn’t quite finished.

Magagna completed his hat trick 1:31 into the final period, pushing the Rock Springs lead to three at 4-1.

MCHS junior Cole Dubois lit the lamp behind the Miners’ net four minutes later, igniting the Bulldog offense – though it proved to come too late.

Criswell scored on a breakaway with 2:20 left in the game.

“Our passing was huge for us tonight,” Rock Springs coach Mitch Radanovich said. “We are leaps and bounds better than last time we played these guys, and it showed tonight.”

Midget hockey is a 45-minute game.

Carson said he wishes he could have six of them back.

“It was about six minutes there in the middle of the game,” he said. “That is when we played silly hockey, and the game got away from us. But, hey, the guys cooled their heads and fought back.

“I couldn’t ask for more.”

Except for maybe another six minutes.

Game statistics

Moffat County vs. Rock Springs

Team 1 2 3 F

Rock Springs (1-0-1) 1 2 1 4

Moffat County (3-3) 0 1 2 3

First Period: 1, RS, Magagna 1 (Aust) 5:10.

Second Period: 2, RS, Beach 1 (Barnum, Yerkovich) 0:24. 3, MC, Ivers 2 (Criswell) 2:56. 4, RS, Magagna 2 (Love) 12:21.

Third Period: 5, RS, Magagna 3 (Love) 1:31. 6, MC, Dubois (Criswell, Ivers) 4:03. 7, MC, Criswell 7 (unassisted) 12:40.

Shots on goal: Rock Springs 13, Moffat County 15