Close regular season as second seed
The Gunnison Blades U19 girl’s hockey team closed out the regular season winning three of their last four games and will head into the playoffs February 22-24 as the number two seed.
They set the wheels in motion three weeks ago, handing Telluride back-to-back shutouts.
The Blades opened it on Saturday, January 26 with a 3-0 win and followed up on Sunday to complete the sweep, winning 4-0.
The team then closed the regular season splitting their two-game road trip with team New Mexico February 9-10. The Blades were down to eight skaters for the weekend and struggled in the opening game on Saturday, February 9.
Team New Mexico jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period before the Blades could respond on a goal from Marissa Lambert.
New Mexico scored again in the opening minute of the second period for a 3-1 lead but again the Blades responded on a goal from Hailey Pike to hold New Mexico in check.
The two teams continued to trade goals through the second period and the Blades finally tied it up 4-4 in the opening minute of the third on a goal from Ali McGuire.
But limited numbers took a toll on the Blades and New Mexico netted two more goals in the third to ice the 6-4 win.
The Blades avenged the tough loss the following day, beating New Mexico 4-1.
Lambert scored two goals in the first period and Ashley Crittendon and Jessie D’Aquila added one apiece in the third for the win.
While the Blades were tied with Aspen for the regular season title with equal records, Aspen won the tiebreaker, having defeated the Blades in head-to-head play.
“We have two weeks off until the playoffs to clear the head,” says Blades coach Tony Lambert. “We got a good seed and the team is really starting to gel.”
After taking second place in the post-season the past two years, Lambert wants her girls ready to take the title this year.
“The focus right now is to not let up,” says Lambert. “Put the hammer down for the next four practices and then have a little fun before we leave for the playoffs. The only thing we’ve been lacking the past two years is staying power.”