Prepare for upcoming series
The Crested Butte Panthers U12 girls’ hockey team split their weekend at the Mountain States Girls Hockey League (MSGHL) series in Crested Butte last week.
On Friday night, January 25 Aspen came at the depleted Panther squad strong taking the first game 6-1. Aspen star Ariana Buxman had the hat trick to go along with two assists. Last year’s league-leading scorer and Panther co-captain Abby Whiting had the only Crested Butte tally.
On Saturday morning, January 26 Crested Butte skated hard right from the opening face-off with Whiting scoring just 10 seconds into the game. But every time the Panthers scored Aspen responded with a goal. The Panthers got strong play from four players brought up from the developmental team to fill in for the flu-stricken Crested Butte squad.
Midway through the third period Panther co-captain Marissa Lambert collided with Buxman in front of the Crested Butte goal as Buxman notched her fourth goal of the game and Lambert was injured.
Lambert gathered herself on the bench and came back scoring the final two tallies for Crested Butte. Morgan Osterling was brilliant in the net for Crested Butte notching her fourth victory of the season. It was a big win for Crested Butte handing last year’s league state champs just their second loss this season.
The Panther “B” team played a two game series with Aspen also this past weekend. Crested Butte came out losing both games 0-6 and 2-4. For some players, this was their first taste of game action this year.
The Crested Butte coaches were pleased with the improvement of their squad. After play on Saturday the teams faced each other in a shoot-out competition. Crested Butte’s up and coming rookie goalie Monika Olesen was able to show her skills in net and was fantastic!
Later that afternoon Crested Butte hosted Santa Fe in a Pink versus White tilt. Pink prevailed 4-3 with great play from both teams. Crested Butte, looking to keep depth at goal tending, had Ali Sunter strap on the pads and go against Olesen in a game-ending shoot-out. Both teams, the parents and coaches had a great time!
The Panthers league team has two weeks to practice and get ready for the Gunnison and Summit series. The top four teams in the league advance to the state championships held in Aspen in March.
The league champion in each age division will then have a chance to compete for the national girls’ recreation hockey championship to be held in Idaho later in March this year.