"The Squirts, Peewees, and Midgets haven't lost yet this season. … They all have a ways to go, but it's looking pretty promising that Telluride may have multiple champions this year," said Kevin Swain, Lizard Heads Hockey Club board member.
Following weekend games at home, the Squirts and Peewees both came out with the upper hand in games over their Durango and Crested Butte challengers. The Bantams, on location in Oak Creek, added two wins to their recent winning streak, while the Midgets continued their reign as one of the league's most fearsome high school teams. (See Midgets story above.)
Squirts Soundly Beat Durango
In their usual style, the Telluride Squirts dragooned their competition in two games on Saturday at the Hanley Rink in Town Park.
"Durango played hard and skated well, but we just out-passed them and played more as a team," said Squirts coach Kevin Croke following his team's back-to-back victories over Durango.
Bringing Telluride's offensive power to the forefront were players Malcolm Major, Andrew Farny, Justice James, and Nico Shapiro, who all put the puck in the Durango net to help bolster Telluride's winning streak.
On the defensive end, the team started Saturday's game missing a brick in their nearly impenetrable wall: star defenseman Shamus Croke, who broke his leg in a skiing accident on Friday. Although the team missed Croke's net-shielding skills behind the blue line, the Squirts defensive unit directed by net minder Blade Harrigan successfully closed the gap and dominated the matches.
"All the kids picked up their level of skating and passing across the board," said coach Croke. "Mainly, they were able to play as a team, which helped them play a great game."
The Squirts play in Glenwood Springs next weekend, before traveling on a team trip to Denver to watch the Avalanche play.
Peewees Send Butte Packing in Two Games
The Peewees have faced a rough-and-tumble game schedule this year but one in which Telluride's 11- and 12-year-old players have dominated. The team demonstrated their superior skills on Saturday when they faced off against Crested Butte for the teams' second meeting of the season.
When the teams first played in December, the Butte squad had only logged a few hours of ice time before the game. (Crested Butte has an outdoor rink and thus are at the whim of Mother Nature as to when they can begin practicing on ice … remember those days?)
"We absolutely demolished them," remembered Croke, one of the Peewee's coaches, of that first match-up.
By last Saturday, the Butte had quite a few more practice hours under their belts and came out for their rematch with revenge in mind.
"They were the best team we've played by far," said Croke. "It was definitely a tough game."
Ultimately, Telluride landed on top of the scoreboard in both games, winning 3-1 and 3-0. Trevor Croke, Luke Flosdorf and Ty LaFramboise each landed goals, while Tucker Brumley and Noah Schwadron kept the Butte at bay with strong goaltending.
The two wins kept the Peewees record perfect as they approach the end of the season. Their next games are on Feb. 4 and 5 in Eagle, against Eagle and Durango.
Bantams Win on the Road
The Telluride Bantams are on a three-game winning streak, after two shutout victories over Oak Creek, 2-0 and 5-0, over the weekend.
Carl Schroedl was the Bantams' leading man, not letting a single puck fly past his glove as goaltender. A solid defensive effort spearheaded by Schroedl and supplemented by Ivan Zeller, Max Bregman and Walker Hollrah kept Oak Creek from scoring, and aggressive play from the Bantams' offensive line landed the team their two victories.
Dallas Harrigan and Kyle Northrup led the team in scoring in the first game, while teammates Creek Tompkins and Calvin Schwadron joined them on the scoreboard in game two.
Also playing vital roles in the victory were Trevor Broderick, Tucker Hensen, Natalie Brown, and Sam Engbring.
The Bantams play at home this coming weekend, versus Durango at the Hanley Rink.