Breck Bucks beat Colorado Rampage 10-5 in final homestand before postseason
Special to the Daily
Friday, Feb. 12
Score 1st 2nd 3rd Final
Bucks 3 4 3 10
Rampage 0 3 2 5
The first round location is TBD. The final four play at Air Force Academy. For more info or to buy tickets, see www.breckenridgebucks.com.
Round one — Feb. 26-28
Breck Bucks (No. 3) vs. Glacier Yeti (No. 6)
Colorado Thunderbirds (No. 4) vs. Colorado Rampage (No. 5)
BYE Aspen Leafs (No. 1)
BYE Pikes Peak Miners (No. 2)
Final four — March 2-6 (double-elimination)
Bucks or Yeti vs. Miners
Thunderbirds or Rampage vs. Leafs
The Breckenridge Bucks wrapped up their final homestand of the regular season over the weekend, defeating the Colorado Rampage (9-26) on Feb. 12.
The Bucks (24-14) came out flying in the first period, scoring three goals and pulverizing the Rampage defense with 23 first-period shots to the opponent’s eight.
The Bucks picked up where they left off in the second, as regular threats Anthony Flores and Jake Wener scored goals less than a minute apart in the first five minutes of the period. This stretched the Bucks lead to 5-0, chasing the Rampage’s starting goalie from the net.
Following the goaltending change, the Rampage began to show signs of life. They started trading goals with the Bucks in the last half of the second period and the game became more of a back-and-forth battle. But the Bucks didn’t let up, and the replacement goalie fared no better as he too was tested often by the home team’s relentless onslaught.
One aspect the Bucks have struggled with all year is penalty minutes, as just about everyone on the starting line and bench was routinely sent to the box, leaving the team shorthanded early and often. Last weekend, this wasn’t the case. Penalties could have led to a lopsided game, but the Bucks only were whistled for one infraction (holding) during the game.
The second period shots were 18-15 again in favor of the Bucks — the most even period of the game. The Bucks once again poured it on in the third period, outshooting the Rampage 28-11 and scoring three more goals to the Rampage’s two.
When it was all said and done, two Bucks players — Michael Klintworth and Anthony Flores — scored hat tricks to give the Bucks a 10-5 victory. The Bucks recorded a season-high 69 shots and treated the fans to a great regular-season finale.
The Bucks and Rampage were scheduled to play again on Saturday night to close the series, but it was not exactly a league game. Several Rampage players left town after the humbling defeat the night before, leaving the team shorthanded without enough players to make for a good game. As a result, the Rampage were forced to forfeit the game.
But there was a healthy crowd waiting for hockey action, so several Bucks players donned other jerseys and skated against their own team in a glorified scrimmage.
Into the postseason
The Bucks wrap up their regular season this weekend against the Colorado Thunderbirds in Littleton.
“The goal of next weekend is to get through it without any injuries,” head coach Jesse Davis said. “We are locked into third place and want to go into playoffs fresh.”
Playoffs start the following weekend as the Bucks host No. 6 Glacier Yeti (2-34) in a best-of-three series.
It might not be an easy win: The Bucks could be down a goaltender heading into playoffs, as Lincoln Riley sustained a lower-body injury during practice this Tuesday. He is listed as day-to-day.
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