An early season bout between the 10-and-under Summit Youth Hockey Lightning and teams attending the Steamboat tournament shook out the youths' jitters.
The Squirt B team drew a tough schedule in its first contests of the season, with the first game ending with a 3-1 win over against Foothills (Denver). The Lightning saw Nick Davis make a power-play goal, and the team saw the bigger Foothills squad take several penalties to try to slow down the Lightning - to no avail. Dartagnan Barson scored the game-winning goal in the second period, with insurance added by Toby Gard to ice the victory in the third. Goalie Alex Pouliaevski proved his worth in saves as the Lightning were outshot throughout the game.
In the second Squirt B game, the Lightning took on the Utah Junior Grizzlies, which ended in a 3-0 shutout thanks to Pouliaevski's goaltending and goals by Barson and Blake Davis. Midway through the game, it was still a scoreless battle before Barson stole a puck on the forecheck and put a precise bullet shot past the Grizzlie goalie for the lead. Speed and skill broke the game open with Davis' two goals in the third period.
Game 3 pitted the Lightning against the Krivo Elite squad from Denver, featuring Colorado Avalanche star Milan Hejduk as coach and his son, Marek, leading the team on the ice. Summit held strong for nine minutes into the game before giving up the first goal to Marek. Pouliaevski was tested in 37 shots on goal with several "spectacular" saves, his coach said. Summit shot just nine times on the Krivo net, and being outmatched, the score rested in a 5-0 loss for Summit.
"Summit had given the strongest resistance to the superstar team," Summit Youth Hockey director Bob Chesnutt said.
The loss to Krivo sent the Lightning to the consolation game to face the Foothills Flyers again on Sunday. The Lighting came out with some lineup adjustments to confuse the Flyers' defense and worked a steady game plan scoring in each period to put away a 3-0 win, and third place overall in the tourney.
Goals came from Davis and Zach Carleton, with Barson setting up two of the three goals. The Flyers rallied in the second period, but goalie Pouliaevski shut down every attack.
Pouliaevski ranked No. 1 in total saves and second highest in save percentage for the tournament. Forwards Davis and Barson ranked well in points scored on the weekend.
The Squirt C team finished with a 2-2 record. Each game was a close contest with tight losses to Arvada and Fort Collins, followed by two wins against Steamboat. Forward Zach Payne led the division in scoring on the weekend, and goalie Jacob Mallory-Slack finished second in save percentage for the tournament.