Flames claim Battle of the Badges
BRECKENRIDGE – One of the key players in Friday’s seventh annual Battle of the Badges turned out to be the only female on the ice.Despite giving up 10 goals on the night, Flames goalie Emily Jury made countless big saves down the stretch to help her team to a 12-10 victory over the Enforcers.Jury, a Fairplay firefighter who made her third appearance in goal for the Flames, said her practice time going into this year’s game was limited.
“I haven’t skated since last year’s game,” she said. “I was worried at first, but once I got back on the ice it was old hat.”With the victory, the Flames’ extended their series lead over the Enforcers to 6-1.This year’s competition was heated at times, as it included four or five skirmishes that required referee intervention.”It was a little more intense than I’ve seen in the past, which made me chuckle,” Flames player and NHL alumnus Doug Smail said. “It shows there’s a lot of guys out here who really want it.””It’s quite the rivalry,” agreed Don Mercier, a former AHL and IHL player, who skates for the Enforcers. “There were some pissed off guys out there.”
The Flames were led by one-time Boston Bruin Ralph Barahona, who finished with five goals and three assists. Barahona assisted the game-winning goal, which was scored by Dan Brennan with 1 minute, 40 seconds remaining. The Enforcers responded to the late-game deficit by pulling their goalie, a move that led to an open-goal tally by the Flames’ Chuck Oese. Oese contributed four goals and two assists to the Flames’ cause.The Enforcers’ Jeff Sirkka was another celebrity who skated in the Battle of the Badges. Sirkka decided to trade his stick for a gun following his 12-year career in pro hockey. He is now a three-year police officer in Westminister.”I wanted to find another job that had a team atmosphere,” Sirkka said. “So I figured I should either join the police or the fire department.”Sirkka said the three-and-a-half years he spent with the Chicago Blackhawks were the most fulfilling of his long, pro hockey career.
The Battle of the Badges was the second game of the ninth annual Summit Foundation Hockey Classic.Game 1 of the inaugural Summit Hockey Cup kicked off the weekend at the Stephen C. West Arena with Peak One Surgery Center and Vail-Summit Orthopaedics skating to a 4-4 tie.The Summit Hockey Cup will be decided by Game 2, today at 1:45 p.m. If there is another tie, a shootout will be used to determine the winner. The team that loses the shootout will donate an additional $5,000 to The Summit Foundation.Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13631, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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