The Summit U10 Squirts Lightning squad left in the early morning hours last week looking for victory in Taos.
The first taste came with a 7-1 victory over the New Mexico Ice Wolves, with Lightning captain Dartagnan Barson setting the tone early on with a score in the first shift of the game. The team's speed put the Wolves on their heels, and sharp passing and shooting had the Lightning starting strong in the tournament with the win.
Game 2 took place later Friday evening, when the Lightning took on the Taos Coyotes, who couldn't run with the Lightning. Summit lit up the scoreboard four times in the first five minutes to silence the home crowd. In cruise control, they skated to an 8-0 win, with goalie Alex Pouliaevski recording the shut out.
Saturday pitted the Lightning against teams from El Paso and Los Alamos. The Lightning struck early and often in both, winning 8-1 and 5-1, respectively.
The Lightning faced Team New Mexico the final day for the tournament championship game. Team New Mexico beefed up its defensive ranks while the Lightning had lost starting defenseman Riley Cibula to an injury. Summit assistant captain Nick Davis moved back to anchor the Summit defense.
In calm confidence, the Summit squad scored two goals in a 33-second span in the first period from Caleb Mallory and Zach Carleton. Then, it added a late-period goal by Jonathon Lunney to put the game away early. In the second period, the Lighting struck twice more with goals from Foster Krueger and Zach Payne, cruising to a 5-0 victory.
"We had solid defense from Foster Kreuger, Jonathon Lunny, Jacob Mallory-Slack and Riley Cibula all weekend," head coach Bob Chesnutt said. "The offense really stunned the opponents this weekend."
Barson led the attack with nine goals, line mat Zach Carleton had six, Nick Davis tallie three, and nearly every player got on the score sheet at some point in the weekend. Chesnutt also gave kudos to goalies Alex Pouliaevski and Jacob Mallory-Slack, who "were solid in every game."
After the final win, Chesnutt said, "We came down to play some hockey, provide an educational opportunity and to do some team building with our players here in Taos. We wanted to work on some specific skills - winning was a second priority - and the team really came through in a big way this weekend. I think they now understand the true meaning of team."