Squirts Play in Boar’s Tusk Explosion
by Jenifer Proud
February 21, 2005
The Sublette County Squirt Hockey team traveled south for the "Boar’s Tusk Explosion" in Rock Springs last weekend, February 19-20th.
Their first game of the tournament was against the Rock Springs Miners. A friendly rivalry has developed between the two teams due to their frequent meetings and even skill level. Rock Springs got on the board first and held their lead into the third period. Within the first minute of the final period, Luke Barron sped down the ice, but was forced into the corner. Undeterred, he threw the puck toward the net and got a lucky rebound off the goalie to tie up the game. The battle ensued. Tough defense at both ends kept the offense at bay…until Will Grassell feathered a pass to Aunders Hallsten who went top shelf for the winning goal. David Kelly was tough between the pipes turning away 10 shots.
The next game saw the Green facing a select team out of Ogden, Utah. Alex Truluck struck first for the Glaciers, with an assist going to Chase Anderson, who won the face-off back to Truluck. With a quick release, Truluck was able to get the puck past the goalie for his first goal of the season. The Golden Spikes tied it up late in the second with some fancy passing, forcing the Glaciers to tighten up their defense. It was looking like the teams would have to settle for a tie when a foiled wrap-around attempt produced the opportunity Ogden was looking for. With 44 seconds left, a loose puck found its way to an open Ogden forward at the top of the crease.
Although it was a tough loss for Sublette County, the whole team played some great hockey. Defense in particular really stepped up to the next level to shut down the Ogden offense. Kelly was solid in net with 13 saves.
Sublette County’s third game was yet another meeting with Rock Springs. Anderson picked up his own rebound early in the first to put the Glaciers on the board. Four minutes later, Anderson found the same open net off a rebound from a shot by Connor Kingsbury to stretch the lead to two. The Miners closed the gap to one in the second, then tied it up early in the third. Both teams fought hard for the winning goal, but Anderson, assisted by Barron and Kingsbury, earned a hat trick and the go ahead goal with just over one minute remaining. In their second victory over the Miners, the Green were out-shot 2-1, but Garrett Bartlett was up to the challenge with 18 saves.
Sunday morning, the Glaciers tied on their skates for their final game of the tournament. Facing the Ogden Golden Spikes in the deciding game, the Green was fired up. Barron found Hallsten early in the first to get on the board. The lead didn’t last long as Ogden scored three unanswered goals to take control heading into the third period. Sublette County found the twine again, early in the third, on an unassisted goal from Barron. With an offensive push, trying to tie up the game, the Glaciers defense got too high in the Ogden zone. This allowed the Utah team room to stretch their lead with two more goals. Bartlett had a solid effort in net with 28 saves…24 more than his Ogden foe.
The Sublette County Squirts came away with second place in the "Explosion", but more importantly, a new found confidence in their defensive core. With two weeks of practice left before their State tournament, the Glaciers will be busy honing their skills preparing to take on the big town boys.