C.B. Storm takes Durango tournament hockey title

O’Connor nets winning goal, Potts tourney MVP

The Crested Butte Storm men’s league team patched together an all-star cast of players/characters to head down to the Durango Winter Carnival hockey tournament last weekend. They returned with the tournament title.
The Storm squad consisted of veteran Storm players such as Bob Piccaro, Sean Norton, Paul O’Connor, Matt Whiting, Willy Miller, Deuce Wynne and goaltender Mike Potts. Add in Adam Jack Ofsterdahl, Deuce’s old hockey buddy from Minnesota and current Salida resident John Fritz, Western State College team coach and player Bryce Michaels and Kyle Crowley, Gunnison stand out Mike O’Laughlin and the North Dakota contingent of Mike Lauerman and Joe Erickson, and you’ve got a mix of high-powered offense backed by some serious speed on defense.
“We had a good group for sure,” says Whiting.
The mix of talent resulted in the Storm’s roll to an undefeated weekend, outscoring its opponents 18-7 and taking the title in overtime.
They opened the weekend on Friday, January 8 with a 5-2 win over Albuquerque, led by a hat trick by Whiting and a goal from Miller.
They carried their momentum through two games on Saturday, crushing Taos 6-2 and one of the two Durango teams at the tournament 5-2.
Everyone contributed on offense on Saturday, with Piccaro netting one, the North Dakota boys poking a couple in, O’Laughlin scoring as well as Michaels and Crowley. Whiting threw in a goal as well each game and the Storm was on tap for a trip to the finals against the second Durango team.
The Storm and their finals opponent Durango have a building rivalry from contests over the past several winters, with Durango typically on the winning side.
“We’ve had a lot of back-and-forth games with them over the years,” says Whiting.
Sunday, the Storm took to the ice determined to bring home some hardware. O’Laughlin put the Storm on the scoreboard first, scoring in the second period off a pass from Wynne, but Durango tied it up in the third period to force overtime.
The two teams traded shots the first three minutes before O’Connor connected in a mad scramble in front of the Durango net to score the game-winning goal.
Potts closed the weekend as the MVP.
“Any time you give up only seven goals in four men’s adult games is great,” says Whiting.
The Storm takes on Western State College this Sunday, January 17 in Gunnison at 8 p.m.

Check Also

Consistent bats pace Pitas to win over Kochevar’s in softball

Playoffs start next week By Than Acuff Here we go again. Pitas avenged a loss …