Wolfpack split two road games with ski town rival Telluride
Written by Than Acuff
Wednesday, 06 February 2013
Action returns to Big Mine Ice Arena this weekend
Coach John Mortell predicted it. After the Crested Butte Wolfpack dominated Telluride last year, Mortell knew Telluride would come at the Wolfpack in their first meeting this season on Saturday, February 2.
“That was definitely the case,” says Mortell. “They got a new coach and his guys came ready to play.”
Nevertheless, Mortell’s team was coming off a big weekend in Aspen and looked to carry their momentum into Telluride.
“We were feeling good and ready for the challenge,” says Mortell.
The Wolfpack held off the initial Telluride surge in the first period and then pounced when Dylan Curtiss scored on a power play late in the first period.
Telluride responded four minutes into the second period to tie the game 1-1 but the Wolfpack came right back a minute later as Troy Pike scored off an assist from Sam Reaman.
The Wolfpack lead was short-lived though as Telluride tied it up once again to send the two teams into the third period notched in a 2-2 tie.
The difference came nine minutes into the third period. With the Wolfpack surging, they suffered back-to-back penalties leaving them in a penalty kill situation late in the game.
Telluride took advantage of the man advantage to score the game-winner and held on for the 3-2 win.
“I really felt like we dominated the game and dictated play,” says Mortell. “The puck just wasn’t bouncing our way. Then our discipline slipped in the last few minutes, took some dumb penalties and they capitalized on it.”
Upset with the way the game ended, Mortell left the team in the hands of his captains to bring them back into focus for a rematch with Telluride later that day.
“The captains took control, shared some words with the team, and they came back out ready to play,” says Mortell. “We focused on a good game of hockey that they know how to play.”
After a scoreless first period, the Wolfpack lit the lamp three times in the second period to build a 3-0 lead.
Reaman scored on a power play in the third minute of the period. Dethloff netted his first goal of the weekend off an assist from Danny Stoneberg and then Reaman closed the period with another power play goal.
Telluride poked a lone goal through in the third period but the Wolfpack clamped down as a team to hold the 3-1 win.
“My defense was really playing well and we were getting a lot more of our defense working on offense,” says Mortell. “And we didn’t take any penalties.”
The Wolfpack will have their toughest weekend of the season this weekend as they host the top two teams in the league, Arvada and Hyland.
“We don’t know what to expect—we just have to be prepared,” says Mortell.
They will play on Saturday, February 9 at noon and 4:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 10 at 10 a.m. at Big Mine Ice Arena.