Hockeys opening night a hit as usual
BRECKENRIDGE Adult hockey players in Summit County are spoiled. Stephen C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge stays open year-round and the kids at heart get to play three seasons per calendar year, with only a month off in between.The generosity of local businesses helps to make it possible for five leagues and about 35 teams to hit the ice in any given fall or winter season. Bars, restaurants, ski resorts, hotels, construction companies and more pitch in to sponsor a sport that has exploded in popularity here in recent years. Even in the summer, three leagues (B, C and D) and close to 20 teams don their jerseys every week.The summer season kicked off on Wednesday, when six of the seven C League teams clashed at the Steve. Summertime always takes on a different look for the adult rec-leaguers. Many take the season off, teams combine and puck-hungry A and E league players filter up and down.People take vacations and attendance can be unpredictable week-to-week, said Chad Christy, who captains the defending C League champs, Great Western Lodging. GWL isnt fielding a team this summer, and All Electric might have done the same if not for a collaboration. Christy and a handful of his teammates joined forces with AE, loading up a team full of talent that should be a force to be reckoned with this summer.In game one on opening night, the new All Electric attack hit double digits in beating Something Wild by a touchdown, 10-3. Things didnt bode well for the Wild from the get-go, when a player hopped over the boards to take his first shift and immediately fell with an embarrassing thud. That tends to happen when one forgets to take off his skate guards.Also, Wild goaltender Sean Mills had problems with his contact lenses and with the amount of rubber he saw (or didnt see) throughout the contest, the result wasnt pretty. The score was 6-1 by the end first period. We never win our first game, Something Wilds Kim Coy said. I think weve lost game one for five straight years now, so its no big surprise.Even though the players looked sharp, All Electric was not without its early season glitches, either. There was a shortage of uniforms, and in a reporters nightmare, the players shared their jerseys which meant that any given number was worn by two or three different players throughout the game.Game two of the night was a much tighter struggle. Albino Swine (Copper Mountain) scored three late goals against Moose Jaw/Farleys to skate away with a 4-3 overtime victory. In contrast to the 10 players on the Moose Jaw bench, the Swines bench was empty at the opening faceoff. The five skaters fell behind early and it didnt look good for them, until star defenseman Ray Brueggeneier arrived to give his team six skaters and a chance to win. His presence on the ice did just that for the Swine, who pulled out a gutsy win against the three full lines of Moose Jaw/Farleys.CC&S Construction looked very strong in game three, with a 5-0 victory over Ski School. Those guys have been beating up on us for years; it feels really good to turn the tables on them, said captain Bruce Buller, who sponsors the team. Chip Dunmon made 14 saves, several of the tough variety, en route to the shutout. His team controlled the game with a balanced attack that featured four different goal scorers. Ed Huchingson netted the eventual game-winner with a beautiful wrist shot to the upper corner early in the second period, and CC&S poured it on from there. Failures to make the playoffs in each of the last three seasons have the Hammers hungry, and recent improvements have them looking like a team that could give All Electric a good run to the end of a hot summer season.Matthew Duffy covers rec sports for the Summit Daily News. His biggest fear, aside from sharks, is a rec league team changing uniforms during the game. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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