Hitting the road to Steamboat
The Crested Butte Panther girls’ hockey team returned to action this past weekend with some tough league play. The only home games of the 08-09 season had to be moved to Gunnison due to the recent snowfall. A special thanks to John Mezner and his ice crew in Gunnison for nursing the rink to allow the Panthers to get in their games and also to Dave Clement and his officials to work the games in with little notice of the rink switch.
The Crested Butte U-12 girls took on Colorado Select U-12A girls from the Denver metro area. Outstanding defensive play and solid goal-tending from Monica Olesen allowed Crested Butte to take both games 2-1 and 3-0. Coach GJ Santelli says, “Those two wins were big for us because we have played the top teams in the league so far and now we have to play strong the rest of the season to try and make the state playoffs.”
Crested Butte U-14 girls then played Colorado Select U-14A girls for the Panthers’ first league action of the season. Panther goalie Morgan Osterling came down with a flu bug and tried warm-ups but felt too weak to play, turning over goal-tending duties to Olesen.
Olesen did not let her team down, showing brilliant play in the net. Marissa Lambert added the scoring touch with an ESPN highlight goal, but the Panther squad dropped both games by identical scores of 2-1.
Panther coach Tony Lambert called a time-out toward the end of regulation play in both games, setting up a chance to tie the games. During both games, Ali McGuire got off the last shot but was denied by the Select goalie’s outstanding saves as time ran out—allowing for an exciting finish!
Lambert says, “Those were two of the hardest-fought games our girls have ever played, and I am very proud of how strong they skated.”
Up next for the Panther squads is another road date to play the Steamboat Skiers U-12 and U-14 teams February 7-8.