Breck Bucks hockey takes 2 from Colorado Rampage
Special to the Daily
Breck Bucks vs. Colorado Rampage, Oct. 30
Score 1st 2nd 3rd OT SO Final
Bucks 0 1 0 0 (3) 2
Rampage 1 0 0 0 (2) 1
Breck Bucks vs. Colorado Rampage, Oct. 31
Score 1st 2nd 3rd Final
Bucks 0 4 1 5
Rampage 0 1 0 1
The Breckenridge Bucks were in action this past weekend at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge. Going into the weekend, the Bucks were riding a three-game winning streak after having swept the Colorado Thunderbirds (1-9) the previous weekend and split with the Pikes Peak Miners (8-2) the weekend of Oct. 16-17. The Bucks looked to build on the confidence that they had gained from winning three straight with a Halloween home stand against the Colorado Rampage (4-6).
Game One turned into a goaltending duel, as both goalies faced a combined 38-plus shots during regulation and overtime.
In net for the Bucks (and back from an injury) was goaltender Lincoln Riley, who appeared in top form.
The first period began rather uneventfully with neither team taking many chances, but, as the period wore on, the teams grew more confident, and the play opened up.
The Rampage opened the scoring 12 minutes into the first on an odd man rush, with a nice tip-in goal past Riley. Despite several good opportunities, the Bucks were unable to equalize in the first.
The Rampage lead wouldn’t last long into the second, as Bucks’ Anthony Flores scored six-and-a-half minutes into the second period on a rebound opportunity to knot the game at one. The Bucks seemed to find their stride during the second period, controlling the play for the majority of the period but, ultimately, were only able to pot one goal during the period.
The third period generated some very spirited, physical play from both teams. As the altitude began to wear on the Rampage players, the Bucks started to take control. Neither team could manage a goal in the third as the game went to overtime tied at one.
The Bucks took a rather unorthodox approach heading into OT, starting three defensemen for 3-on-3 overtime hockey. Both teams had penalties heading into the extra frame. The formation weathered an early Rampage rush, and both teams returned to four aside.
“The game plan was to get pucks in deep and bang away,” assistant coach Kory Dekoevend remarked heading into overtime. “Eventually something would find it’s way home.”
In the shootout, each team scored twice before Lincoln Riley shut the door on the Rampage’s Jaren Panick. Jake Wener followed it with a high blocker to seal the win for the Bucks.
“I kind of froze,” he said about his spot as fifth shooter. “I was excited to have the opportunity. I was fortunate that the goalie went down when he did, and I put it top shelf. Really, I’m just happy to help get the win for the team.”
Going into Saturday’s game, the Bucks were intent on riding the wave of energy from the Friday night shootout win.
Saturday started much the same as Friday, with neither team taking many chances early on. As the period wore on, the play opened up, and both teams generated several quality scoring opportunities. However, neither team was able to score in the first period.
In the second period, the Bucks were called for tripping early on, and the Rampage capitalized on the power play, tipping a shot past Bucks goalie Oliver Elvenger,
It would be the only goal he would surrender in the game. The Bucks roared halfway through the period, as George Kamins knocked in his own rebound and tied the game at one soon after. A few minutes later, Bucks’ Ben Schoeffield passed to Sheamus Stoyle, who made it 2-1. The Bucks found the back of the net twice more in the last minute of the second, as Brendan Russ scored from the point and Milou Lofstrom buried a pass out of the corner from Schoeffield to give the Bucks a 4-1 lead.
They would extend the lead halfway through the third on a beauty of a goal by forward Jake Wener, who skated through several Rampage defenders before snapping the puck upstairs over the goalie’s glove to increase the lead to 5-1.
There was no more scoring as the Bucks continued to cruise through the third period. Rampage frustration finally hit a boiling point when Alexander Schubert dropped the gloves with Bucks defenseman Brenden Russ at seven minutes left in the third period. Russ bloodied Schubert’s nose with a series of punches, drawing raucous cheers from the home crowd.
The two wins on the weekend improved the Bucks record to 7-3 and extended their winning streak to five games. Next weekend, they go on the road to take on the league-leading Aspen Leafs (9-1).
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