Breckenridge Vipers drop pair of road games to Texas Titans |

Breckenridge Vipers drop pair of road games to Texas Titans

Vipers return to Stephen C. West Ice Arena for Dec. 6-7 home stand

Action from the Breckenridge Vipers' victory over the Utah Blizzard at Stephen C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge on Nov. 8.
Liz Copan /

BRECKENRIDGE — The Breckenridge Vipers semipro hockey team dropped to 2-2 on the season over the weekend after a pair of losses to the Texas Titans.

The Vipers’ 19-man squad traveled to Dallas for the contests Friday and Saturday night. The Vipers lost the first game 6-3 after going down 3-1 at the end of the first period.

Vipers general manager and goaltender JR Engelbert said the Tigers fought back to make it a one-goal game with five minutes left in the third period. That was before a penalty and Breckenridge trying to force the action led to a couple of breakdowns that got the Titans their final two goals.

Engelbert said the Vipers adjusted early to the fast and physical pace of Friday night’s game. By the time Breckenridge’s fourth line came on the ice, Engelbert said the reserves shone, as the collection of Chad Helfer, Luke Noble and Tyler Snyder were on the ice for two of the Vipers’ three goals.

“When they got their chances to get out there, they were very effective,” Engelbert said. “They put the pressure on, made hits, and they were able to capitalize on a couple of chances.

Vipers semipro hockey

All home games at Stephen C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge
Friday: vs. Utah Blizzard, 7:45 p.m.
Saturday: vs. Utah Blizzard, 8 p.m.
Nov. 22: at Texas Titans, 7:45 p.m.
Nov. 23: at Texas Titans, 6:15 p.m.
Dec. 6: vs. Boulder Bison, 7:45 p.m.
Dec. 7: vs. Boulder Bison, 8 p.m.
Dec. 20: vs. Pikes Peak Vigilantes, 7:45 p.m.
Dec. 27: vs. Vail Yeti, 7:45 p.m.
Dec. 28: vs. Vail Yeti, 8 p.m.
Jan. 7: vs. New York City Fire Department, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 10: at Sun Valley Suns, 7:15 p.m.
Jan 11: at Sun Valley Suns, 7:15 p.m.
Jan. 17: at Vail Yeti, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 18: at Vail Yeti, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 31: vs. Pikes Peak Vigilantes, 7:45 p.m.
Feb. 14: vs. New York City Police Department, 7:45 p.m.
Feb. 15: vs. New York City Police Department, 8 p.m.
Feb. 21: at Park City Pioneers, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 22: at Park City Pioneers, 7:30 p.m.
March 6: vs. Park City Pioneers, 7:45 p.m.
March 7: vs. Park City Pioneers, 8 p.m.
March 13: vs. Pikes Peak Vigilantes, 7:45 p.m.
March 20: vs. Denver Leafs, 7:45 p.m.
March 21: vs. Denver Leafs, 8 p.m.

“Friday night was a good game for us after we got down early with bus legs coming off the road trip,” Engelbert added. “To fight back from three down right way was a good character thing for the team, but we ended up falling a little short.”

Engelbert described Saturday’s 9-1 loss as a brutal defeat. The Vipers were unable to get a whole lot going early on before forcing chances later in the game, one problem compounding the next. Against a skilled side like the Titans full of former Division I and pro talent, Engelbert said that was a recipe for the eight-goal loss.

“When you make mistakes, guys like that capitalize,” Engelbert said. “They were able to take advantage of mistakes and put us away. Moving forward, I think it was a good eye-opener. We just got to rally more a bit as a team and play a bit more of team-style hockey, especially if we fall back and get down at all. That’s kind of where our heads are at right now. I think sometimes games and road trips like that can serve as a rallying point for the season.”

Against Boulder in their next games Dec. 6-7 at Stephen C. West Ice Arena, Engelbert said the Bison will present a relatively unknown challenge. From past games, the Bison usually field a strong side of former Division I players from across the Front Range.

“The games have always been fun,” Engelbert said.

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