Rivalries sparked by close games
Two local adult hockey teams—the Crested Butte Strom and the Red Ladies—headed to Telluride Saturday and Sunday, November 17-18 for some San Juan hockey action.
While both the Red Ladies and Storm have seen little to no ice time, they managed to hold their own and then some when paired against teams spoiled with indoor ice rinks.
The weekend started out well on Saturday for the Crested Butte Storm, showing up in Telluride with 12 skaters, including Chris Eaton, the younger brother of local hockey great Mike Eaton.
Sean Norton opened the scoring for the Storm, netting two goals in the opening period. Paul O’Connor and Willy Miller joined Norton in the scorebook as well, but Telluride responded to each of the Storm’s strikes, eventually taking a 6-4 lead in the third period.
The Storm more than made up for lack of ice time with heart and skill as they managed to tie the game 6-6, but Telluride answered once again to take a 7-6 lead with two minutes left in the game.
Undaunted, the Storm continued to push, resulting in a game-tying goal from Matt Whiting to force overtime.
It took one minute of extended play for the Storm to strike, as Eaton completed the hat trick, tipping in the game-winning goal on a shot by Sean Kelly.
Sunday for the Storm was a carbon copy of Saturday’s game, except for the end result.
Whiting scored the first Storm goals and O’Connor netted his second goal of the weekend with a tip in. Tony Swedeburg joined the team for Sunday’s game to add more scoring punch, finding the net twice, but once again the Storm found themselves down a goal with time running out in the third period.
Yet, once again, they provided some late game heroics when Whiting beat the Telluride goalie with 30 seconds remaining to tie the game 6-6 and send it into overtime for the second game in a row.
Determined not to suffer the same fate twice, Telluride scored just 45 seconds into overtime to emerge with the 7-6 win.
The Red Ladies’ experience in Telluride was the opposite of the Storm’s, as they suffered at the sticks and skates of their archrival, the Box Canyon Beavers in the first game Saturday night but rebounded Sunday morning for the win.
The Ladies were stacked with talent heading down to Telluride, as both Suzy Parker and Heidi Sherratt returned to the team after taking last season off.
Unfortunately, the Beavers proved stronger in the first meeting, taking a 2-0 lead in the second period and holding on.
Ladies scoring star Hillary Buscovick managed to finish on a breakaway to cut the Beavers’ lead down to one, but Crested Butte struggled to net the equalizer, losing 2-1 to “those pesky Beavers.”
The Red Ladies regrouped Saturday night and came out Sunday morning on fire to down the Beavers 4-1.
Buscovick scored early, tipping in a shot by Molly Frame from the point. Frame’s daughter, Jessie, gave the Ladies a 2-0 lead in the first period with a goal, but the Beavers responded scoring on the first face-off of the second period to pull within one.
Buscovick scored her second goal of the game to build a 3-1 lead in the third period and Brigid Piccaro iced the win, skating behind the Beaver net and scoring off the back of the Beavers’ goalie’s pads for the 4-1 win.
Both teams now depend on the local weather before they return to the ice, hoping for clear and cold to get the ice ready for some hometown skating.