Breckenridge women’s hockey teams claim two state titles
The Ballad of Fatty’s Furry
The Fury began way back when,
A lot of years ago, probably more than ten.
We got together for the love of the game,
Since that day, it’s never been the same.
We have forged amazing friendships I would say, like sisters to me,
In good times and bad, laughter and grief, sweet and b****y!
Our car-ride conversations might make some blush bright red,
We’ve even had our coach spit out Wheat Thins because of what was said!
Our coach is a champ, puts up with us b****es, he’s tried and true,
Coach Geoff — thank you from all of us, we love you!
Our ages range from young to the age that some would say,
“Holy crap, you’re how old and you still play?!?!?”
We choose our team first and foremost on personality:
Can we get along, go have a beer, are you slightly crazy?
If it’s a “yes” on all three,
Congratulations, you’re on the Fury!
So here’s to playing with my crazy b****es for many more years,
Here’s to hanging out at Fatty’s with you all, drinking beers!
—Poem written by the Fatty’s Fury line, title by editor
It’s been a season of twos for women’s adult-league hockey in Breckenridge: two teams, two divisions, two shootout semifinals (well, for one team) and, in the past two weeks, two state titles.
In March, the Breckenridge Blizzard and Fatty’s Fury reached the end of a five-month season and headed off to state tournaments. Both teams went off to their respective tournaments with a crew of 14 or 15 ladies between the ages of 22 years old and nearly 60, plus about 30 years of shared history in the statewide women’s hockey league.
Fatty’s Fury, the Mountain Division team, had been to several tournaments and even won a few titles in the past, while it had been a few years since the Blizzard last made it to the A2 Division final. Their league is one below A1 — the college club level — and they often play against former and, on occasion, current NCAA players. It’s serious competition, and the terrible two were up to the challenge.
“Our coach said, ‘I want to bring the cup home this year,’” said Adrienne Stuckey, team manager and forward for the Fury. The head coach, Geoff Palmer of Summit Youth Hockey, puts up “with a lot from us,” she added, but that’s only natural after a five-month season filled with travel between Aspen, Glenwood, Steamboat, Eagle, Vail and Craig.
Vail’s the two-time defending women’s league champion, and so there was no way Palmer would let his ladies lose when they headed over the pass from April 1-3 for the state tournament at Dobson Ice Arena.
“Basically he said, ‘I’m tired of it being in Vail, I want to bring the damn cup back,’” said Stuckey, 46, who’s been playing with the Fury for 13 seasons. “We’ve been in the semifinals or finals for the past few years, and we’ve lost that in a shootout to Vail before. When we won this one it just felt good.”
That’s right: for the tournament win, the Fury weathered a pool-play tournament with two shootout wins against Steamboat and Vail before dominating Aspen, 5-1, in the final to reclaim the title from Vail.
The defining moment for the Fury: the Glenwood semifinal. The game was 1-1 heading into overtime and scoreless after a five-minute sudden death, leading to a shootout that went all the way to the seventh skater. That’s when Fury’s Mistaya Pierpont snuck one past the Glenwood keeper. Without her, they would have missed the final based on stats and wins during the regular season.
Blizzard in FoCo
On March 20 in Fort Collins, about a week before the Fury headed to Aspen, the Breck Blizzard beat Steamboat, 3-1, to win the women’s A2 Division title. Remember, it’s the level right below college, and the Blizzard often ended up playing more than a few college teams during the season. It might even be one of the reasons they rolled through the state tournament and into the final.
“We had a really challenging schedule this year, with three teams in the A1 division,” said self-described rink rat Heather Walsh, 39, of Silverthorne. “I would say this was the most challenging season we’ve had so far, but I really do think it made our team better overall.”
For Walsh, the team would have faltered against those fast, big, hard-skating college teams without goalie Jill Luebke. She can stop anything, Walsh said, and when paired with formed college players like Courtney May and Breckenridge native Jackie Koetteritz, the team dominated at the round-robin state tournament, not to mention Steamboat.
“We have a real positive team, we had a successful season, and we knew if we did our job by shutting down their top players we could win,” Walsh said. “And like I said, we had Jill in the goal, and when your goalie is that good you always have a chance to go all the way.”
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