Avalanche/Tamarack still undefeated in E League
BRECKENRIDGE – The Breckenridge Medical Center (BMC) E League hockey team has been searching for a win all season. The Avalanche/Tamarack wasn’t willing to give it to them.
A handful of spectators braved the snow to watch the Avalanche defeat the BMC, 4-0, on the outdoor rink at the Steven C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge Saturday night. With the win, the Avalanche (11-0) preserved their undefeated record while the BMC (0-11) missed another chance – albeit a slim one – to end their losing streak.
“I’ve been with the team for two years, and I don’t think we’ve won a game while I’ve been here,” said the BMC’s Claude Lavalle. “But we have fun out there.”
The Avalanche dominated from the start of the game, taking the lead only 20 seconds into the first period with a goal scored by Bob Hrycaj and assisted by DJ Cook. Bill Duford made the score 2-0 with an unassisted goal just three and a half minutes later.
Unable to move the puck up the ice, the BMC dug in on defense. Rookie goalie Ashley Malacinski did her best to break up the Avalanche’s momentum, making seven stops in the second and third periods. But unassisted goals by Mike Bennett and Amy Canepa sealed up the win.
Although the BMC managed to hold the Avalanche scoreless in the third, their offensive struggles continued. A tripping penalty called on the Avalanche gave the BMC a chance to get on the board but their attempts during the power play were easily turned away by goalie Chris Erickson.
Despite the lopsided score, the BMC and their supporters seemed happy with their level of play.
“I thought it would be more of a blowout,” said Collin Malacinski, shivering in the stands as he cheered on wife Ashley. “They’ve improved a lot over the season.”
Both teams have one regular season game left – The BMC will play the Grand County Merchants on Friday, and the Avalanche face off with Hamlet’s Skulls on Saturday.
The top four teams in the league will compete for the championship on April 18.
The Avalanche, like their NHL namesake, are a lock for one of the top playoff seeds. Players said they’re looking forward to a challenging post-season.
“We’re one of the stronger teams out there,” Erickson said. “There should be more action [in the playoffs].”
Jonelle Lonergan can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 230, or at jlonergan@
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