Three-peat! Goose wins another Massacre
BRECKENRIDGE For the Gentleman of the Blue Goose Rugby Club, the 33rd annual St. Valentine’s Day Massacre will be very hard to top.Not only did the Goose win its third consecutive Breckenridge-based snow rugby tournament, it did so without allowing a single try over the course of five matches.”You couldn’t possibly have a better tournament than we had this year,” said Goose veteran Russel Backhouse, who estimates he has played in about 20 Massacres. “We’ll probably never have such a good tournament again.”Backhouse made two key passes to set up tries in the home team’s 3-0 victory over the Denver Highlanders in Saturday’s final.
Joe Pizzi, playing in his first Massacre as a member of the Goose, scored the game’s first try then set up a subsequent score in the second half.”I ran right through a guy and sidestepped another,” Pizzi said. “I hadn’t scored all day and I was catching some flack from the guys. Usually, I’m responsible for at least a try before this, but I saved it up for the championship game.”Buck Goroski and Brian Jones each scored twice in the semifinals (against the University of Denver) and once in the finals for the Goose.Goroski had to commute from the Front Range to play in his 10th Massacre.”I moved to Lone Tree,” Goroski said, “I told (some of the team leaders) I was coming up for it and they said, ‘OK.'”Goroski’s try against the Highlanders came on a long second-half run, which put his team up 2-0.
“Russel had it down on the ground,” Goroski said. “I don’t how he got it up and saw me there. … He’s such a smart player and he always sees those overloads – he’s passed us so many tries over the years because he knows how to play this game.”In defeating the Highlanders, DU, the University of Texas alumni, Durango and Fort Collins, the Goose scored 17 tries will posting a goose egg on defense.The Goose’s performance at last year’s Massacre was also impressive as they gave up just one try and scored 18 en route to their second consecutive championship (Colorado School of Mines was the runner-up).Perennial mountain powerhouse Aspen fell in the semifinals to the Highlanders.”Aspen came for the first time ever and it’s always fun to finish ahead of them in a tournament,” Backhouse said. “It doesn’t happen too often.”Citing the quality of the Highlanders’ squad, Backhouse said he wasn’t surprised to see Aspen left out of the finals. Neither was Goroski.
“When we saw Aspen in their first game, someone told us they looked a little motley,” Goroski said. “They were not all with it and they’re not used to playing in these conditions because I think they practice inside.”Summit’s women’s team posted a solid second-place finish after a no-show at last year’s Massacre. The home team lost in the tournament finals, 3-2, after coming back from a two-try deficit against the Boulder Babes. Summit High players Catherine Clark and Madeleine Child each scored a try in the finals.On its way to the finals, Summit defeated CSU, CU, Durango and the University of Northern Colorado by a combined score of 14-0.Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-4634, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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