Wolfpack struggles against Front Range teams at tourney

Avenges loss to Oak Creek
While the Crested Butte Wolfpack dropped three of four games at the 12th Annual Ski Town Classic hockey tournament in Steamboat Springs last weekend, the one win they did register was worth the trip.

The tournament includes a handful of teams from the Rocky Mountain Youth Hockey League as well as some top-level programs from the Front Range.
The Wolfpack opened the tournament on Friday, November 30 against one of the aforementioned Front Range teams from Littleton.
Not only is Littleton big, they are also fast. The combination of the two proved troublesome for the Wolfpack team, handing Crested Butte a 5-2 loss.
“We played all right but they were just too overpowering,” says senior Wolfpack player Mo Gillie.
Senior John Tharp and junior Robbie Holleran netted the two Wolfpack goals, picking up where they left off last season as a formidable one-two scoring punch.
The team recovered in time for their next game on Saturday, December 1 against Oak Creek.
Oak Creek was responsible for ending the Wolfpack’s season last year when they upset Crested Butte in the opening round of the playoffs.
With revenge on the mind and a renewed team-oriented game plan in place, the Wolfpack shut out Oak Creek 4-0.
Four different Crested Butte players found the net with goals by Gillie, sophomore Eric Jernigan, freshman Sam Evans and Tharp.
“We played a lot better,” says Gillie. “We were able to link more passes together and played as a team more.”
Flush with confidence after the win, the Wolfpack faced Littleton again Saturday afternoon, looking to serve up another plate of revenge.
Instead, Littleton put an almost immediate end to that plan, jumping out to a 3-0 lead.
Tharp broke the ice for Crested Butte with a goal in the second period, looking to jumpstart the Wolfpack, but Littleton responded once again, building a 7-1 lead.
Holleran scored two more goals for the Wolfpack late in the third period, but the damage was done as Littleton skated to a 7-3 win.
Crested Butte closed the weekend Sunday, December 2 with a consolation game against another regular season league opponent and the tournament host team Steamboat Springs.
The Wolfpack used the opportunity to try different line-ups in preparation for the upcoming season. Unfortunately, none of them really worked, as the Wolfpack never pulled their game together and fell to Steamboat 3-0.
“We were pretty much asleep the whole game,” says Gillie.
Nonetheless, Gillie was psyched just to get on ice and play some high-quality teams before the start of the regular season on Saturday, December 22 in Telluride.
The Wolfpack’s first home game is not until Friday, January 11 against Gunnison at 7 p.m.—weather permitting, of course.

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