Locals endorse resort rivalry
BRECKENRIDGE – A dash of hockey celebrities, a healthy dose of local players and a pinch of never-evers are the ingredients for the annual Rivalry of the Resorts hockey game at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena.
It’s a broad cross-section of Summit Countians who come out to help raise funds for the Summit Foundation and to morph the intense business rivalry between Vail and Intrawest into a hockey matchup.
On Friday, Intrawest evened the series at 2-2, ending two years of Vail dominance with an 8-5 win.
The game also throws together the most disparate level of hockey talent that ever appears on the Steve ice at one time.
Take Intrawest’s Rick Boh and Jeff Bergeron for example – completely different ends of the hockey spectrum.
Boh, from Denver, played Division I college hockey with Colorado College and in the NHL with the then Minnesota NorthStars. Bergeron picked up skates for the first time earlier this week. Friday, the two sat shoulder-to-shoulder on the same bench as teammates.
“I was really nervous I would end up banged up,” Bergeron said between periods. “But no one has done anything to me. It’s very friendly.”
After being volunteered to play by his wife, Jennifer Bergeron of the Summit Foundation, Jeff started going to late-night practices and learned the basics of the game in a few days.
“I figured there were all these good skaters, and if I didn’t learn, they’d kill me,” he said. “So I’ve been to every practice.”
The teams are broken into lines of descending ability, and fourth-liners like Bergeron play against other fourth-liners.
“The lines are kind of even,” said Kristie Hannon of Resort Sports Network, who played on Intrawest’s third line. “But when I was warming up, It was kind of scary. It’s good to play with different levels. They force you to play up to their level.”
Not surprisingly, most of the goals were scored by the first two lines. Boh scored four against Vail goalie (and CEO) Adam Aron. All four came in the third period and broke open a game that went into the second intermission at 4-3 in favor of Intrawest.
The game was knotted at two after the first period. Peter Cowley started the scoring for Intrawest, and Vail’s Ingemar Losch responded a minute later.
Intrawest’s Dan Gorbatenko scored with less than two minutes remaining in the first before Vail’s John Champoux’s slap shot from the blue line beat Intrawest goalie Clarke Evans with eight seconds remaining in the period.
Evans tightened up after that, giving up just one goal in the second – to Vail’s Brendan McCarthy – and this time making a save in the final seconds of the period. Dan Brennan and Dan Gorbatenko scored for Intrawest in the second period.
And in the third, it was the Rick Boh show.
“It starts out with just a little feeling out for the first two periods,” Boh explained before taking the ice for the third. “There will be some incentives this third period.”
The Summit Figure Skating Club entertained during the intermissions. After the game, the players and organizers adjourned to the Great Divide Lodge for a dinner and silent auction.
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