Wolfpack ends tough season in Kremmling

Comes up short in shootout

The Crested Butte Wolfpack hockey team finished the regular season with two wins over Telluride to earn the final spot in the playoffs as the sixth seed last weekend, and to face Kremmling in the first round in a best-of-three-games format.

 

The Wolfpack split a double header with Kremmling earlier in the season so confidence was high heading into the first round of the post-season.
The Wolfpack outplayed Kremmling through the first game on Saturday, February 20 holding the puck in Kremmling’s zone for most of all three periods, out-shooting them 28 to 12.
But shots don’t count unless they cross the line, and not one of Crested Butte’s attempts found the back of the net.
Kremmling, on the other hand, scored three times on 12 shots to escape with a 3-0 win.
“We just couldn’t seem to bury the puck and they could,” says coach Rob Bramwell. “Their goaltender was outstanding.”
Bramwell knew it was just a matter of time before the team would be rewarded for their efforts with some goals so he maintained the same plan for game two on Saturday.
“I didn’t really tell them to change anything,” says Bramwell. “The pucks had to start bouncing our way. We just kept plugging away.”
Thirteen minutes into the second game Connor McGuire broke the ice for Crested Butte with a backhand to put the Wolfpack on top 1-0.
Kremmling tied it up midway through the second period but the Wolfpack responded a minute later on a break-away goal by Ben Reaman.
Reaman netted his second goal of the game a minute after his first and the Wolfpack took a 3-1 lead into the third period.
The Kremmling coach then shifted gears, working his top two lines almost the entire third period to mount a comeback.
A miscue in the Wolfpack end in the opening minute of the third period allowed Kremmling to pull within one goal with plenty of hockey left.
Kremmling kept coming at the Wolfpack eventually tying the game in the 12th minute to force an overtime period.
“We let up in the third and were playing back on our heels,” says Bramwell.
The two teams finished still tied 3-3 with a shootout to determine the game’s eventual winner.
Confusion over the number of players allowed in the shootout ensued and when the dust cleared the refs opted to go with three shooters.
Wolfpack player Jake Sunter opened the shootout and beat the Kremmling goalie side-to-side but his shot hit the post and flew wide, and Ben Frame lost the puck on his approach to miss as well.
Kremmling’s first two shooters netted their shots to seal the win and advance.
“They played their butts off and played good hockey,” says Bramwell. “It’s a bummer our season got cut off a week early.”
 

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