Enforcers buck the trend in Battle of the Badges
BRECKENRIDGE – The boys in blue are back on top.After losing the Summit Foundation Hockey Classic’s Battle of the Badges six out of the last seven years, the Enforcers bucked a recent trend Thursday by handing the Flames a 13-4 loss at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena. “It’s all about the series,” Enforcers captain and Dillon police chief John Mackey said after his team improved to 2-6. “We’ve only won this thing once before, so we take a ribbing all year long from the fire department. It’s all in good fun, but it’s nice to get up. We’ve definitely been on the losing end long enough, so we’ve worked at putting together a better team.” “We were just overmatched,” said Flames veteran Gary Green, a local fire chief. “It’s a little embarrassing.”Former Colorado College player Dan Brennan scored a goal and recorded two assists in the first period to help the Enforcers take a commanding 5-0 lead at the first intermission.
Brennan opened the scoring (and the floodgates) 4:56 into the game on a feed from Phil Housley, the top-scoring American-born player in the history of the NHL. Housley’s slapshot from the left wing was denied by Flames goalie Emily Jury, but he collected the rebound and fed Brennan out front. Brennan, an employee at the USA Hockey coaching education department and Hockey Classic veteran, spoke to the significance of the Battle of the Badges’ lifetime series.”I played for the firemen last year, so I guess I’m a traitor,” Brennan said with a laugh. “But I think after losing so many times, this is real important to (the Enforcers) and it’s good to help them out.”Housley (who ended up with a hat trick), Nathan Panek and Jim Moffat (two goals) added first-period scores for the Enforcers.In a game that was marked by far fewer (there were none) on-ice fights than last year, the Flames stayed quiet until 11:06 remained in the second quarter when team captain Chuck Oese scored off a rebound that was deflected by Enforcers goalie Marty Wakelyn.The Flames would add another second-period goal by Skip Bergbauer, who went on to score a hat trick, but it wasn’t enough to cool off the Enforcers, who entered the second intermission with a 12-2 lead.
“There’s a lot of firefighters from the county and not so many cops from the county, so it’s kind of losing its luster,” said Oese, a Badges veteran. “But it’s still for a good cause, though.”The Enforcers were coached by Ron Byrne, the Summit Foundation Hockey Classic’s founder. As the former head coach at Colorado College, Byrne had Brennan, Wakelyn and current Enforcer and former Canadian national team member Rick Boh playing for him.”It’s a treat to have these guys back,” Byrne said. “We had a good goaltender tonight and of course when you have a guy like Phil Housley, things are going to happen.”Vail-Summit Orthopaedics takes lead in Summit Hockey Cup
Preceding the Badges game, Vail-Summit Orthopaedics jumped out to an early lead and never looked back Thursday in Game 1 of the second annual Summit Hockey Cup, winning 4-0 over Peak One.Chris Ruhly drew first blood just over six minutes into the game when he converted a past from Reid Bartelt. Bartelt found the back of the net himself three minutes later on assists from Ruhly and Martin Kennedy. Patrick Tekampe closed out Vail-Summit’s first-period explosion 11:57 into the game.David Edstrom added a second-period insurance goal for Vail/Summit, which won last year’s inaugural Summit Cup, 7-4.Today’s Hockey Classic action continues with the Game 2 of the Summit Hockey Cup at 5 p.m. and the Rivalry of the Resorts at 7 p.m.Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-4634, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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