Alpengardener uses its bench to dominate Talk of the Town

Snow makes for sloppy play

So far, not so good, for the Talk of the Town hockey team this season. It’s unfortunate, because the Talk of the Town bar is currently in the midst of its 25th year in business in the “liver of Crested Butte”—and what better way to celebrate its existence than with a championship season in town league hockey.




Still, it’s early and they could rebound but they’re going to need some help.
On Tuesday, January 8 the Alpengardener handed the Talk its third straight loss with an 8-3 drubbing of the bar squad.
It didn’t look good from the start, as a full Alpengardener squad took to the ice to warm up while the seven or eight Talk of the Town players milled about its bench.
It didn’t look good during the first period either, as the Alpengardener took a 2-0 lead with a majority of the play in the Talk’s zone.
About the only thing that slowed the Alpengardener down was the snow building up on the ice. The Talk held off the Alpengardener assault for the first half of the period and was rewarded with a power play.
Unfortunately, the power play proved troublesome for the Talk. Alpengardener player Billy Rankin stole the puck, shoved his way through the neutral zone and carried it to goal unfettered, to score a short-handed goal.
The Talk finally woke up for the final two minutes of the first period to connect for a couple shots on net but Alpengardener goalie Jay Harris pulled off brilliant back-to-back glove saves to hold them scoreless.
The Alpengardener capped the period with a goal in the final seven seconds, when John Wirsing fed Chance Goldyn for the wrist-shot and a 2-0 Alpengardener lead.
The Talk came out in the second period a much different team. As the snow continued to pile up on the ice, the Talk continued to rally.
Heavy pressure by the Talk on the Alpengardener paid off in the sixth minute of the second period, as the Talk struck twice in 30 seconds.
Tony Lambert fed Matt Nilson for a goal and 27 seconds later Lambert took a pass from Ellen Osterling and scored to tie the game 2-2.
The Alpengardener quickly responded, as Joe Erickson followed up on a rebound to score and give the lead back to the Alpengardener.
The Talk came right back two minutes later to tie the game 3-3, as Nilson wheeled around the face-off circle and flicked the puck past Harris top-shelf.
The Talk’s comeback bid came to screeching halt in the third period though, as Alpengardener erupted for five unanswered goals.
Beth Gallagher sparked the five-goal fury, scoring in the third minute of the period to break the tie. She came right back up the ice a minute later to settle the puck behind the Talk net and feed Mark Cram in the slot, giving the Alpengardener a 5-3 lead.
Twelve seconds later, Shane Palmer joined in on the assault to score on a pass from John Chandler, but the Alpengardener sticks cooled off midway through the third period.
Despite the efforts of dedicated Talk fan Pinball to rally the team, the Talk had nothing left in its tank to assemble any attempt at a comeback.
The game crumbled into a stick-swinging contest as players swatted at the puck, the snow and at times, inadvertently, at each other.
The Alpengardener used its bench to its full capacity bringing fresh legs on the ice for the final minutes of the game and, as time dwindled, it was obvious the Talk was done.
The Alpengardener added two more goals in the last minute on strikes from Erickson and Rankin for the 8-3 finish, garnering its first win of the season and leaving the Talk winless in three tries.

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