Summit’s bravest and finest take the ice |

Summit’s bravest and finest take the ice

BRECKENRIDGE – There was a hot fire burning Friday night in the Battle of the Badges hockey game and one team wasn’t doing much to enforce it.

The Flames beat the Enforcers once again this year in the annual fundraiser for the Summit Foundation, with a final score of 6-1. The Enforcers, however, emphasized that, while they might be getting worked on the ice, they surpass the firefighters in vocational skill.

“Anybody can be a firefighter, you know, just sign them up,” said Enforcers’ Mark Beluscak of the Silverthorne Police Department, (who, by the way, has volunteered as a firefighter). “To drag a hose around and squirt some water, what kind of skills does that take?”

Beluscak went on to say he was going to resort to playing dirty for the final period of the game, which began with a Flames’ 5-0 lead.

“I’m going to take some guys out,” he announced. “We’re behind by a substantial margin, we might as well. That might sound like sour grapes and the truth is … it is.”

The Enforcers managed to put a goal in during the third period, and goalie Dan Ostrander, of the Broomfield Police Department, kept many Flames’ attempts out of the net, including a true fireball shot in the high corner with two minutes left that he contained with a one-handed grab.

The Flames were on fire right from the start with two quick goals from Chuck Oese and Chad Rioux. Coming into the second period with a 2-0 lead, Doug Gerrald continued the Red, White and Blue Fire Department attack, putting another one in on a fast break. The streak continued when Kim O’Brien launched one in after a pass from Lake Dillon Fire Department’s Shaun Sawyer as he was down on his knees spinning on the ice.

Zach Hutehihson had another goal near the end of the second to take the Flames into the final period with a 5-0 lead.

“We would like to keep them as shut out as possible,” said Flames’ Jenn Wass. “Would you expect anything less? We keep the score of whatever to zero for as long as we can and put more and more points on the board.”

The cops fought the shut out with a fast break goal in the middle of the third period, which was answered by a sixth Flames goal by John Bielak.

“We’re mainly here to have fun,” said Enforcer Jeff Wilson of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s competitive when we get out on the ice, but we’re here to do a benefit and it’s fun for us. We could care less whether we win or lose. It would be a nice touch if we won, but who cares.”

Several cops and firefighters play together throughout the season on a team for Pioneer Sports. Nonetheless, the Flames now have something on the cops.

“It’s bragging rights,” said Flames’ Matt Benedict. “We try to run the score up as much as we can.”

“It’s a good rivalry,” Oese agreed. “We all work together very closely and we’re actually really good friends. That’s why it makes it more fun to beat them.”

The rivalry continues at 4 p.m. today with the series tie-breaker between the Intrawest Canucks and the Vail Resorts Americans at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge.

Shauna Farnell can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at

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