Blue Goose dominates St. Valentine’s Day Massacre |

Blue Goose dominates St. Valentine’s Day Massacre

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk

BRECKENRIDGE – The Gentlemen of the Blue Goose Rugby Club won their second consecutive St. Valentine’s Day Massacre tournament Saturday as fifth-year player Zack Zellars had a career outing.Zellars scored nine tries on the day, besting his previous tournament high by seven. After scoring three times in the Goose’s 4-0 semifinal victory over Fort Collins, he said his team’s game plan was to get the ball out to the wings as much as possible.”In previous Massacres, we’ve found that when we get the ball out wide, good things happen,” Zellars said. “In wide-open snow, the offense takes the advantage because the defense can’t react as quickly.”Zellars displayed his impressive speed as well as an array of offensive fakes to lead the Goose to its second Massacre title since the turn of the century.

“He’s phenomenal, really strong,” Goose veteran Russel Backhouse said of Zellars. “He plays basketball two or three days a week and his fitness is really showing. If we had to pick an MVP, he would be the leading candidate.”Backhouse had a solid day for the Gentlemen himself, assisting both tries in the team’s 2-1 championship victory over Colorado School of Mines. After a scoreless first half, a bloody-nosed Backhouse found both rookie Matt McCormick and veteran Buck Goroski for second-half tries.McCormick, a 19-year-old who joined the Goose just two weeks ago, scored three tries in his first organized rugby match. The California native is between colleges and wanted to learn how to play rugby before returning to school, he said.”Two weeks ago, I came out and told these guys I didn’t know anything,” McCormick said. “They helped me out a ton. Without them, I probably still would have no idea what I’m doing.””He’s never played the game before and he’s just a natural to us,” Backhouse said of McCormick.

The Blue Goose dominated teams throughout the day, winning its matches 4-0, 5-0, 3-0, 4-0 and 2-1. In the finals, the Miners scored its lone try with less than 30 seconds left in the match, blemishing the Goose’s previously-perfect defense. “It happened,” Goroski said. “I’m just glad it happened on the last play of the game.”Goroski, who scored a try in both the semifinals and the finals, finished with five tries on the day.Queen City, which has won the Massacre two out of the last three years (it was runner-up last year), didn’t even make it to the semifinals of this year’s tournament.

“Their coach wouldn’t let them bring their A-side because every time they’ve come here, they’ve either gotten in a fight or someone had gotten injured,” Blue Goose vice president Jon Wood said. Allen Warmbier and Paul Stavovy also scored tries for the Goose. The Harlequin Olde Girls were victorious in the women’s tournament. They have won the Massacre every year since the tournament was expanded to include both genders several years ago.Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13631, or at

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