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Breck Bucks beat Yetis for Aspen grudge match in RMJHL Final Four

Wren M. Arbuthnot
Special to the Daily

Breckenridge Bucks vs. Glacier Yetis, Feb. 26-27

Friday, Feb. 26

Score 1st 2nd 3rd Final

Bucks 5 3 1 9

Yetis 1 1 0 2

Saturday, Feb. 27

Score 1st 2nd 3rd Final

Bucks 4 2 4 10

Yetis 0 0 1 1

The Breckenridge Bucks returned to the ice last weekend for the first round of the inaugural Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League playoffs against the Glacier Yetis from Grand Junction. The Bucks needed to win the best-of-three series against the Yetis for an invite to the RMJHL Final Four, held this weekend at Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

Although the Bucks knew that winning games in the first round was a must, it was equally important to turn in the kind of showing that built momentum for the postseason. They couldn’t overlook the Yetis, but rather had to see them as the first task at hand.

Game one

It worked. The coaching staff conveyed this message loud and clear, as the Bucks scored five first-period goals on Friday night. Sweden’s Milou Lofstrom got the Bucks started with a goal at six minutes in, assisted by Anthony Flores and Drake Cole.

The trio was just getting started and struck again with under a minute left in the first period. This time, the goal came on a power play, with Cole finding the net on an assist from Lofstrom and Flores.

The Bucks carried a 5-1 lead into the second period and immediately expanded on it just over a minute into the period, this time led by Cole on a roll. He scored at one minute and four minutes for his second natural hat trick in as many weekends.

The Yetis Colton Anderson scored halfway through the second period to cut the Bucks lead to 7-2, but by then it was all Bucks, with Cole and Flores scoring again en route to a 9-2 victory. The forward line of Cole, Flores and Lofstrom demonstrated their lethality in game one against the Yetis for 16 points during the win.

Game two

The Bucks reloaded for Saturday night’s rematch, knowing that they could make their journey to the Final Four easier by winning in two.

The Bucks didn’t disappoint and manhandled the Yetis in the second contest. In the initial frame, Breckenridge put 18 shots on net to the Yetis’ four, including four times as they asserted their dominance right away.

Cole reiterated his four-goal performance from the night before, kicking the Bucks off once again with a point on an assist by Flores and Lofstrom.

The Yetis’ lone goal came on a power play halfway through the third period to spoil goalie Oliver Elvenger’s shutout bid. It was the only low point in the win, with the Bucks top line combining for 15 points to continue the momentum they had gained the night before. The game ended with a 10-1 route to complete the Bucks sweep of the Yetis.

The win propels Breckenridge to the first in a best-of-three showdown with mountain rival Aspen on March 3 at 3 p.m. at the Air Force Academy. The Bucks need to unseat the Leafs this weekend to play in the championships round against the winner of the Colorado Rampage vs. Pikes Peak Miners series.


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