“We didn’t play to our full potential”
by Than Acuff
Following a robust fall club season and weeks of pre-season workouts, the Crested Butte Titans hockey team finally got to test their mettle last weekend as they hit the road to face Glenwood Springs on Friday, November 30.
The team was looking strong during workouts leading up to the opening game as they readied for Glenwood Springs, a team that is new to the league but known for solid, physical play.
“The practices leading up to the game looked really good,” says coach Billy Watson. “It was the best I’d seen them play in a long time.”
That practice energy didn’t quite carry over to the game, though, as Watson felt the team looked erratic and disjointed on the ice in the first period.
“The game was pretty back and forth but I thought we looked a little sloppy and a little panicked,” says Watson.
Things tightened up in the second period for the Titans but the back of the net still eluded them. Fortunately, their goalie Shaughn Rourke was on point in net, turning away every Glenwood shot to keep the game scoreless heading into the third period.
The Titans finally broke the seal in the third period as Jack Lambert fired a shot from the point through traffic and it slipped past the Glenwood goalie for a 1-0 lead.
“That definitely fired up the guys,” says Watson.
The Titans added to their lead when Graham Barrett won a draw in Glenwood’s zone and scored for a quick 2-0 lead in the third period.
Rourke continued to do his job in net to seal the 2-0 Titans shut-out win, giving the Titans a key opening win to the season.
“I thought we outplayed them but the big player was Shaughn,” says Watson. “He kept us in it all three periods.”
While the win was good, Watson was a bit disappointed in the team’s play and is looking for them to step it up as they prepare for two games in Steamboat this weekend.
“We didn’t play to our full potential,” says Watson. “It’s early season and we learned a lot. We have our work cut out for us on what we need to work on.”
The Titans head to Steamboat for games Friday and Saturday, December 7-8 and then will have their first home game of the season when they host Woodland Park at Jorgenson Arena in Gunnison on Saturday, December 15 at 12 p.m.