Playoff seeding on the line in season-ending road trip
Rocky Mountain Youth Hockey League standings
W L T PTS GF GA
Durango 11 0 1 23 63 11
Crested Butte 11 0 0 22 72 28
Moffat County 10 1 1 21 58 21
Steamboat 8 6 0 16 57 43
Gunnison 3 4 2 8 26 31
Kremmling 2 9 1 5 24 50
Grand Junction 2 9 1 5 27 66
Telluride 2 11 0 4 23 73
Oak Creek 1 10 0 2 22 49
On Wednesday, Bulldog hockey club coach Jim Hall said he was comfortable with the schedule and where his team stood in the Rocky Mountain Youth Hockey League.
Third-place Moffat County had four games remaining against the two team’s ahead of Moffat County in the standings.
The Bulldogs were in control of their own destiny; win this weekend and first-place in the league at season’s end would be theirs.
Twenty-four hours later, the scenario had changed.
The season-ending road trip, beginning Saturday at first-place Durango and ending at second-place Crested Butte, was cut in half.
The 16-game schedule was reduced to 14 because of Mother Nature; Crested Butte has been dropped as an opponent because of snow.
“I’m disappointed we couldn’t play them,” Hall said. “It takes away a big chance for us to finish tops in the league. Now, we’ll probably finish right where we are, in third.”
Durango leads the RMYHL with 23 points; Crested Butte has 22, Moffat County 21.
Two points are earned with a victory. The Bulldogs can finish with 25 points with a sweep against Durango. Crested Butte plays at Durango on Sunday. Either team winning by sweep eliminates Moffat from first-place contention.
A split would place Moffat in second because of tiebreaker scenarios, heading into the playoffs beginning Feb. 17.
If Moffat County finishes in the top two, they will host two rounds of the playoffs.
The team is guaranteed a first-round home game, but if the team stays home in the second round, or has to hit the road, rides on Saturday’s outcome.
“This team knows what’s at stake,” Hall said. “It will definitely be a test of our meddle. If you can’t get pumped up for this, I don’t know what you are doing around hockey.”
Hall said he is leaning toward starting senior Bryce Ponikvar in goal for the first game, junior Spencer Wayman for the second. : Moffat County has two more wins than last year. :Scott Smith leads the Bulldogs with 11 goals. : Durango winger Connor Coughlan has 25 goals and 12 assists in 12 league games.
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