Secret’s in the sauce
It was a battle of the pizzerias Tuesday night at Big Mine Ice Arena as Mikey’s Pizza took on the Brick Oven Pizzeria in town league hockey action.
The two teams came into the game with records of 2-1, with the winner taking sole possession of first place.
Mikey’s Pizza, recently voted best pizza in Crested Butte, looked to prove themselves as the best hockey team in Crested Butte early in the game, scoring in the first 20 seconds.
Chris Tanis chased the puck into the corner and fed Jeremy Bjork in the slot for the strike and a 1-0 lead.
Three minutes later Tanis took the honors himself, ripping a wrist shot past Brick goalie Jay Harris for a 2-0 Mikey’s Pizza lead.
Mikey’s goalie Mike Preston stuffed an early attempt from Brick Oven star skater Pete Cook, but Cook avenged the save three minutes later, taking the puck to goal again and finishing, cutting Mikey’s lead back down to one.
The Brick Oven circled Mikey’s net, firing at will, searching for the equalizer late in the first period, but could not find the back of the net. Mikey’s survived the barrage long enough before Tanis took matters into his own hands once again, skating to net to flip the puck top-shelf, glove side on Harris and a 3-1 Mikey’s lead.
The Brick defense tightened up in the opening minutes of the second period and Harris found his rhythm temporarily with a couple of big saves early, but Mikey’s Pizza kept on coming.
They took a 4-1 lead midway through the second period when Chuck McKenrick punched a loose puck past Harris during a stick-swinging frenzy in the slot. The goal sent some diehard Mikey’s Pizza fans loose as they lit up the air with some celebrational fireworks.
One minute later Brick Oven player Jay Blewett blasted a shot through traffic from the blue line to pull the Brick back to within two, but Tanis responded 30 seconds later with his third goal of the game, giving Mikey’s Pizza a commanding 5-2 lead.
Cook came right back with a coast-to-coast run of his own, skating the length of the ice to slot a backhand past Preston to pull the Brick Oven back to within two goals heading into the third period.
The Brick opened the third period in control, threatening to slice deeper into the Mikey’s Pizza’s lead and Tanis went down with an injury, leaving the door open for a Brick comeback.
But Mikey’s Pizza player Tom Schaefer had other plans, skating through the neutral zone and firing a wrist shot to the upper triangle for the comeback crushing goal capping the 6-3 Mikey’s Pizza win.