Thanks for that
by Than Acuff
When I was just a little one, the flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz and the Umpa Lumpas from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory did some serious damage to me.
I had since recovered from those traumatic childhood sights but now there’s a new visual haunting me, PUPPY-MONKEY-BABY. You can’t unsee that, and if you missed it, you’re lucky.
And, much like I have no idea where PUPPY-MONKEY-BABY came from, I also have no idea where Altitude Painting came from, but they are tearing Crested Butte Town League a new one this year, handing SKA Brewing a 7-3 thumping last Wednesday to remain in first place, with the playoffs starting this week.
It doesn’t hurt that they have a high school player (Danny Stoneberg), a Dujardin (Ed), a veteran (David Bright), a seasoned goalie (Shawn Harrington) and a new guy, I think (Dylan Storz).
The game was to be a showcase showdown between the top two teams in the league with SKA sitting in second place with a record of 3-0-2 and Altitude in first with a record of 4-0-1. But what transpired was far more one-sided than expected.
Altitude jumped out early, scoring in the first minute despite the heroic efforts of SKA goalie Deuce Wynes. Wynes charged out of the crease to poke a puck away but missed, only to fling himself backwards, stick and all, to deny an open net look, only to knock the puck to the high slot for Storz to finish. Thirty seconds later Stoneberg sliced his way through the SKA defense to score for a 2-0 Altitude lead and it looked like we had a blow-out on our hands.
The game cooled down during the middle of the first period as the work of Emerson Wohlers, Gesa Michel and Frank Konsella spurned a counterattack by SKA but it was merely a mirage, as Altitude proceeded to score two more goals in the final four minutes of the period.
Wynes denied Storz on a breakaway but Roan Perschke followed to score on the rebound and Altitude added a fourth goal in the final minute of the first when Ryan Corbett skated straight to net to score while the SKA defense stumbled, causing the scorekeeper to comment between periods, “If it was a fight, they’d have to stop it.”
Despite the early 4-0 deficit, SKA refused to hang the pads, knowing full well there was plenty of hockey left to play. They mixed up their lines a bit, moved some players around and came out in the second period raring like a PUPPY-MONKEY-BABY.
Dan Loftus provided the initial spark as he stole a puck in neutral ice and blazed up ice to goal, only to be denied by Harrington. Michel continued to lead with her effort at both ends of the ice, Dick Whiting slid back on defense to break up an open look for Altitude and when SKA broke free for a three-on-one led by Kent Preston, things were looking good for SKA. Harrington made the save but SKA finally broke through on the ensuing faceoff when Konsella slid the puck to Brynn O’Connell and O’Connell buried it for SKA’s first goal of the game.
One minute later, Wohlers was rewarded for his efforts all game as he rushed the front of the net with the puck. The Altitude defense ushered him wide and behind the net but as Wohlers circled around, he looked to feed the slot, only to have the puck bounce off the back of Harrington’s pads and in the net to pull SKA back to within two goals heading into the third period.
While the momentum had noticeably changed, Altitude took back control of the game in the opening minutes of the third period when Mike Stoneberg found an open seam to the SKA net and slipped the puck through the five-hole for a 5-2 Altitude lead.
The back-breaker came in the sixth minute of the third as Danny pulled off a triple move to score his second goal of the game. SKA managed one last goal during a power play as Konsella scored off an assist from Wohlers, but Altitude had the final say when Danny completed the hat trick to ice the 7-3 Altitude win.