Breckenridge Vipers crush Vail Yeti 7-1 in front of largest home crowd to date | SummitDaily.com
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Breckenridge Vipers crush Vail Yeti 7-1 in front of largest home crowd to date

Garrett Bailey of the Breckenridge Vipers plays against the Vail Yeti on Saturday, Jan. 29, at Stephen C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge. The Vipers dominated the Yeti 7-1.
Liz Copan/For the Summit Daily News

Stephen C. West Ice Arena was packed to the gills Saturday, Jan. 29, for rivalry night between the Breckenridge Vipers hockey team and the visiting Vail Yeti as 750 to 800 fans were shoulder to shoulder in the stands as they watched the two foes face off.

From the first puck drop, the game had the makings of a long-standing rivalry, as hits were administered by both teams, and the puck changed possession in rapid succession.

The two teams played at about the same pace, but it was the Yeti who put more shots on net in the early parts of the first period. None of the shots found the back of the net, though, as goaltender and Vipers General Manager JR Engelbert made several consecutive glove saves to keep the score at zero.



Toward the tail end of the first period, the Yeti went on their first power play of the game, but a Viper breakaway after a jaw-dropping save from Engelbert resulted in a shorthanded goal with 46.8 seconds remaining to put the Vipers up 1-0 at the end of the period.

The Yeti came out of the first intermission ready to put a puck in the net as they played with heightened energy and dominated possession. The Yeti fired off shot after shot, but none found its way past Engelbert in goal.



Eight minutes into the second period, Garrett Bailey sank a beautiful shot in the back of the net to put the Vipers up 2-0 in front of their home crowd. Bailey’s goal opened up the flood gates for the Vipers, as they went on to score three more goals in the period.

Most notably, Bailey scored his second goal of the game, as he broke free and stoically stared down the Yeti goalie before firing the puck past him.

The crowd went into a frenzy, banging their hands on the arena glass as the lights dimmed and a spotlight shined on Bailey as he jumped against the glass in celebration.

Fans packed into Stephen C. West Ice Arena as the Breckenridge Vipers took on the Vail Yeti on Saturday, Jan. 29, in Breckenridge. The Vipers dominated the Yeti 7-1.
Liz Copan/For the Summit Daily News

By the end of the second period, the score was 5-0 with the Vipers in full control of the game despite the Yeti outshooting the Vipers 38-23.

Out of the final intermission, the Vipers continued to score, with goal No. 6 coming 10 minutes into the third period.

Despite hard hits throughout the game, the Yeti players showed their frustration in the third period by checking Vipers players down to the ice, which the Vipers matched blow for blow to the applause of the home crowd.

With five minute remaining, the Yeti finally slipped a puck past Engelbert in goal, but seconds later, the Vipers scored to make the deficit once again 6.

By the final buzzer, the score was 7-1, and the Vipers were victorious.

JR Engelbert defends the Breckenridge Vipers goal in the game against the Vail Yeti on Saturday, Jan. 29, at Stephen C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge. The Vipers dominated the Yeti 7-1.
Liz Copan/For the Summit Daily News

“That crowd Saturday night was something special,” Engelbert said. “That is definitely the largest crowd that we have had in there. They were awesome. They really got into it, and the community support this year has been outstanding.”

Engelbert perhaps had the best performance of the night as he saved 45 shots, only allowing one goal to slip past him in the Vipers win.

“I told the guys in the locker room after the game that outside a handful of opportunities and saves, the guys in front of me made it an easy game for me despite the shot count,” Engelbert said. “I gave them a ton of credit in the room that it was a much easier game than the shot clock indicated.”

The Vipers will play again at home Friday, Feb. 4, and Saturday, Feb. 5, as they take on the physical Fort Worth Barracudas. Both games are scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m., and tickets can be bought in advance at Linktr.ee/breckvipers.


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