Team remains undefeated at 11-0
The play of the Crested Butte Wolfpack high school hockey team continues to gain momentum with each game. Granted, the competition this past weekend was rather light but teams can react one of two ways.
A team can either play down to the level of its competition or maintain its game plan and pace and wipe out its opponent.
This past weekend the latter was the case as the Wolfpack decimated the Grand Junction Mavericks in two games on Saturday, January 26 and destroyed the Oak Creek Kodiaks in both games on Sunday, January 27.
Grand Junction is new to the league this season and having a tough time in its inaugural year. The Wolfpack did its part to join in the league initiation of the Mavericks outscoring them 18-3 over the course of two games.
After cruising to an 8-2 win in the first game led by Robbie Holleran with four goals and two assists, the Wolfpack upped the ante in the second game with a 10-1 crushing.
Kyle Hecker opened the scoring for the Wolfpack in the third minute of the first period finding a loose puck on the far post and poking it in.
The next three Wolfpack goals came from Holleran netting a short-handed goal during a Grand Junction power play, picking the upper triangle with a wrist shot and tipping a slap shot by Mo Gillie.
Holleran scored his fourth goal in a row in the second period thanks to a beautiful feed from Jenner Currier giving the Wolfpack a 5-0 lead.
John Tharp took over the scoring responsibility from there, scoring three in a row over the course of the second and early part of the third period.
Grand Junction found the net once but Eric Jernigan and Gillie capped the Wolfpack’s offensive output for the 10-2 win.
The Oak Creek Kodiaks gave the Wolfpack a brief challenge in the opening game of the double header Sunday but eventually fell victim to the awesome power of the Crested Butte offense losing 6-3.
The Oak Creek goalie held off the Wolfpack shooters through the first 10 minutes of the game as the Wolfpack peppered the Kodiaks’ net with shots.
The Wolfpack finally connected when crisp passing through the neutral zone found Holleran alone on the wing. Holleran drew two defensemen to him as he skated to net and slipped the puck through to a wide-open Tharp on the weak side for Crested Butte’s first goal.
Two minutes later Holleran stripped an Oak Creek defender of the puck and took it to net for a 2-0 Wolfpack lead.
The Kodiaks came roaring back in the second period applying heavy pressure at the point to create odd man rushes on the Wolfpack net.
The strategy worked as Oak Creek scored twice to tie the game 2-2 in the first five minutes of the second period.
Rather than crumble under the loss of a 2-0 lead, the two goals sparked a fire in the Wolfpack as they responded with three unanswered goals.
Tharp found Currier in the slot to take the lead back and then fed Holleran high in the slot two minutes later to the give the Wolfpack a 4-2 lead.
Holleran returned the favor in the final minute of the second period when he found Tharp in the slot for the Wolfpack’s fifth goal.
Tharp and Holleran connected again in the third period when Tharp carried the puck behind the Oak Creek net and fed Holleran high in the slot again.
Oak Creek managed to score once more but Wolfpack goalie Zach Van Dyke came up with a series of saves down the stretch to hold the 6-3 Crested Butte win.
After a sluggish start in the second game scoring just one goal in the first period, the Wolfpack opened up on Oak Creek for three goals in the second period and four in the third period for the 8-2 win.
Sam Evans had a stand out performance on the ice for the Wolfpack leading all scorers with one goal and three assists. Holleran added two to his total of 13 goals on the weekend. More importantly, the defense got in on the scoring as Jack Linehan and Gillie both scored their second goals of the weekend and Quinn Langsfeld blasted a slap shot from the point for the Wolfpack’s final goal of the four-game home stand.
The Wolfpack will play host to the Gunnison Blades on Friday, February 1 at 7 p.m. and then face Craig twice on Sunday, February 3 at Big Mine Ice Arena at 8 and 9:30 p.m.