Sublette County Squirt Hockey
by Jenifer Proud
February 7, 2005
The Sublette County Squirt hockey team has played their final WAHL weekend February 5-6 before entering the State Play-Offs.
The weekend was full of exciting hockey action for the young team. The Glaciers first took on the Riverton Rats. Connor Kingsbury executed a perfect pass to Aunders Hallsten, allowing him to get the first goal of the game. Riverton tied it up, but Kingsbury found Chase Anderson for his second assist and the green’s second goal. Hallsten went solo early in the third to stretch the lead to two, but the Rats quickly pulled back to within one. With solid defensive play by David Kelly, Denver Lloyd, Noah Kolis, Dalton Proud, Alex Truluck and Tyler Smith, Riverton was allowed no more. Meanwhile, Luke Barron and Hallsten each slid one by the Rats goalie to assure Sublette County of a victory. Garrett Bartlett was between the pipes for the Glaciers and turned away 18 shots.
The next game for the green was against the Jackson Hole Moose. A little tentative, Sublette County was unable to produce much offense, except one goal from Kingsbury, off a pass from Bailey Copeland. At the other end of the ice, too many defensive break-downs allowed the Moose to score 8. Bartlett did all he could to help his teammates with 33 saves.
The third game came late Saturday night. The Glaciers were to face their southern rivals, the Rock Springs Miners. Hallsten got on the board first early in the game with an unassisted goal. Before the Miners had a chance to retaliate, Copeland got the puck to Barron who found the twine.
Before the period ended, Rock Springs had pulled to within one and the Glaciers knew they couldn’t let down. Unfortunately, the team found themselves playing short-handed midway through the second due to a tripping penalty. While fighting in their defensive zone, Barron saw a narrow margin and squeezed between a Miner defensemen and the boards. He raced the full length of the ice with Rock Springs hot on his tail, but got the shot off and past the goalie.
As the third period began, the Miners found their opportunity and pulled within one. The Glaciers seemed to be losing their composure…two players in the penalty box and Rock Springs gaining momentum. Veteran players killed the first penalty and Kingsbury got back on the ice. Only down one player the green took a chance and pushed the puck toward the Miners net. Kelly made a quick pass to Barron who went top shelf for his second short-handed goal of the game. Sublette County had turned the tide. Barron went on to score again off a pass from Hallsten. In the last minutes of the game, Lloyd found Billy Mauch breaking up the middle… Mauch powered in and fired one past the defeated Rock Springs goalie.
The last half of the third period was more a game of keep-away. Kelly and Proud controlled the puck in the Glacier zone without the Miners forechecking, allowing the green to ‘burn the clock’. Bartlett was solid in net with 14 saves.
The next meeting between the two came Sunday morning. Coaches were talking strategy, trying to out-guess each other. The Glaciers knew Rock Springs would bring a different game to the ice. Sublette County played tough, but got into penalty trouble. The green’s penalty killing squad only allowed one power play goal, but the penalties took their toll.
The Miners were out for blood and remained focused, making good passes and catching the green out of position. Barron continued his scoring streak with 2 goals, both off passes from Hallsten and one with Mauch joining in. Bartlett played tough between the pipes and had 28 saves.
The Glaciers were looking for three wins this weekend to gain a better seed for the State Tournament, but had to settle for two. Before they head to Cheyenne for State they will be playing in Rock Springs over President’s Day weekend - surely seeking redemption.