Flames throw early fire at Enforcers for Badge win
BRECKENRIDGE – While their teams were busy duking it out on the ice in the Battle of the Badges at the Stephen C. Ice Arena, seven players from the Flames and Enforcers hockey teams were busy fighting wildfires in Bailey Thursday night.
The Flames’ team captain Gary Green and Jason Kline from the Red, White and Blue Fire Department along with Ron Gee from the Copper Mountain Fire Department and Ray Neville from Snake River were valiantly living up to their team’s title Thursday rather than spending their energy on the ice. Also, Enforcers team members Jonathan Comyn from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, and Greg Flint and Mark Stanley from the Park County Sheriff’s Office were absent from the game in order to apply their skills against the live flames.
As far as the action on the ice, the Flames came out on top 4-3. The four goals were scored in the first period by Mark Thomson, Wes Tulli, John Champoux and Chuck Oese, and the Flames spent the latter part of the game playing catch with Enforcers’ goalie Leonard Stein, who had a myriad of impressive left-handed grabs. After the Enforcers’ Brian Martin scored on a quick dump in the first minute of the second period, both teams exchanged bountyless fast breaks for the majority of play time.
“There’s definitely some good skaters out here,” said Dep. Julie Polly of the Enforcers. “Most of these guys play for Summit A (league) teams.”
Nonetheless, there was a definite rivalry between the two public safety entities, albeit a friendly one.
“There are cops that admit they want to be firefighters and cops that don’t admit they want to be firefighters,” Oese said during a chat with Enforcers captain and first goal scorer Byron Gray between periods.
“We don’t want to be cops,” he added. “We’re scared of guns.”
With two minutes left in the game, Cale Osborn of the Enforcers launched the puck from deep ice into the ceiling, and after it was swatted by the hand of a Flames’ defender, David Edstrom put it in for the final goal.
The game marked the third annual Battle of the Badges game, but the competition between police and firefighters began in 1981 with The Pumpkin Bowl, a football tournament to raise money for the Children’s Hospital Burn Center. Proceeds from Thursday’s game and today’s Battle of the Resorts benefit the Summit Foundation, which distributes funds to more than 100 local and neighboring nonprofit organizations.
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