Midget Hockey plays in Cheyenne
Win two at Cheyenne WAHL weekend
by Craig Sheppard
February 15, 2005
The Pinedale High School Age (Midget) hockey team kept their playoffs hopes alive by winning two of three games in Cheyenne last weekend, February 12-13.
They started out by playing host Cheyenne in an early 9 o’clock Saturday morning game. Josh Murphy of Pinedale took the opening faceoff and skated in on the Cheyenne goalie and scored only 11 seconds into the game. It looked like Pinedale was going to blow out the Capitals, but Cheyenne had something to say about it. Cheyenne scored 3 minutes into the second period to tie the game up, then Pinedale’s Drew Guenthner put Pinedale back on top with an unassisted goal. The “wheels” fell off for Pinedale during the latter part of the second period and the beginning of the third – giving up 3 unanswered goals to the Cheyenne team.
Down two or more goals has been a hard spot for this young Pinedale team this year. But things changed this weekend. Jake Hunt and Josh Murphy both scored unassisted goals only 14 seconds apart to tie the game up with only 7 minutes to go in the game. Cheyenne came back with a goal to go ahead again a minute later and, undaunted, Pinedale’s Nate Olsen tied the game with less than two minutes to go. They kept on pressuring the Cheyenne goalie, and Drew Guenthner buried the puck with only 30 seconds to go to secure the win for the Pinedale team. Pinedale nearly doubled the shots on goal on the Cheyenne team with 51 shots to Cheyenne’s 28 shots on Pinedale’s goalie Chris Manning. Pinedale won 6-5.
Later that afternoon they were scheduled to make up a game in Douglas against Sheridan. Much to the dismay of the coaches, players and parents, they found that the ice had thawed after making the long trip from Sheridan and Cheyenne. No game was going to be played that night. Pinedale then got ready for their 6 AM game against Casper. This game was going to be very important to both teams trying to make the State playoffs, and it showed in the strong play by both teams.
Casper opened the scoring by sinking two unanswered shorthanded goals during the same power play. This seemed to break the back of the Pinedale team but Nate Olsen and Josh Murphy combined to stuff in a goal a minute later to get back some momentum for the Glaciers. Casper came back with another goal in the first period, but Nate Olsen scored with only 53 seconds left in the period to get within one again. Casper scored again to put them up by two goals for the third time in the game. Jimmy Easton of Pinedale scored a nice backhand assisted by Drew Guenthner and Jake Hunt to pull within one only to have Casper go ahead by two goals once again, but that was going to be the last time. Pinedale then scored three unanswered goals on one goal by Jake Hunt and two by Nate Olsen (hat trick) to go up by one. Casper still fought back to tie the game, but then Drew Guenthner put the Pinedale team ahead for good by sinking the puck assisted by Josh Murphy, and then Josh sunk an insurance empty net goal to the ice the game for Pinedale. Pinedale won 8-6. Chris Manning had 21 saves on 27 shots for Pinedale, while Pinedale had 44 shots on the Cheyenne goalie.
The next game saw a very tired Pinedale team (only three on the bench) take a beating by a strong and big Gillette team. They lost 7-1 after having to fight back hard in their two previous games. They were outshot 43 to 10, but tried to play hard to the bitter end. The only goal scored by the Pinedale team to avoid a shut out was scored by Nate Olsen assisted by Drew Guenthner.
Playing for Pinedale this weekend were Chris Manning – goalie, Jimmy Easton, Drew Guenthner, Jake Hunt, Nick Jones, Josh Murphy, Nate Olsen, Preston Schwab and Daniel Yenser. They are coached by Jeff Lewis, Craig Sheppard and Mike Schwab.
The Pinedale team returns to action in two weeks against Casper (very important game) on Saturday, March 5th and two games against Riverton on Sunday, March 6th . All games are to be in Pinedale. These games will determine who makes the state playoffs scheduled for the Pinedale rink on March 12-13th.