Pregnancies and injuries deplete numbers
The Crested Butte Red Ladies women’s hockey team opened the 2008-2009 season of Southwest play in Telluride Saturday and Sunday, November 15-16, splitting a two-game showdown with their arch-rivals, the Box Canyon Beavers.
With the onset of pregnancies and injuries, the Red Ladies team traveled to Telluride with just nine skaters and no coach.
Despite the low numbers and lack of “inspirational” talks from coach Bob Piccaro, the Red Ladies rose to the occasion in the first game on Saturday night against the Beavers.
Led by a hat trick by Erika Buscovick, two goals from sister Hillary Buscovick and a solo goal by Lisa Lynch, Crested Butte shelled the Beaver net for six goals to skate to a 6-4 win.
Crested Butte jumped out to a 4-0 lead midway through the second period, devastating the Beavers on their home ice and silencing the hometown crowd early in the game.
The Beavers chomped their way back into the game, scoring back-to-back goals to cut the Red Ladies’ lead in half, but Crested Butte responded with a fifth goal to pull ahead 5-2.
The pesky Beavers lived up to their reputation, battling back into the game in the third period, scoring two more goals to pull within one goal and flirting with a miracle comeback.
The Beavers pulled their goalie with two minutes left in the game searching for the game-tying goal, but Erika Buscovick completed her hat trick performance, scoring an empty-netter to quash the Beavers’ efforts.
Player/manager Angie Booth chalked up the win to the teams’ superior back checking and communication, a necessary mix to overcoming low numbers.
The Beavers took to the ice on Sunday determined to serve up a brunch of revenge to the Red Ladies, but Crested Butte refused to go quietly.
Hillary provided the highlight of the weekend when she took the puck over the blue line and split two Beaver defenders with a blistering slap shot that pinged off the post and behind the Beaver net minder for one of the two Crested Butte goals.
Suzy Parker added a strike but the Beavers battled through the fatigue of the Red Ladies to score three and come away with the 3-2 win and a weekend split.
The Red Ladies schedule is open so far until the beginning of January, when they head back down to Telluride for more Beaver action.