RMJHL Playoffs Begin
by Sarah Sweeney, RMJHL
February 23, 2016
Pikes Peak Miners Finish First
An overtime loss suffered by the Pikes Peak Miners to the Breckenridge Bucks on New Year’s Day may have been a disappointment at the time, but the one point earned by the Miners was the deciding factor between finishing first or second in the league. The Aspen Leafs finished with the same win/loss record of 34-6, but that single point earned has given the Miners the edge—finishing the inaugural season of the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League (RMJHL) with 69 points, edging out the Leafs, who finished with 68. Both teams earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs, allowing them some much needed rest as they prepare for the first RMJHL Final Four next weekend at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
Aspen and Pikes Peak both won their weekend series games—the Leafs defeated the Grand Junction Glacier Yetis 9-1 Friday night, and pounced on them again Saturday with an 11-4 victory. The Miners took two from the Colorado Rampage—with 9-3 final scores both nights.
The Breckenridge Bucks, the only other team able to steal a couple of wins from both the #1 and #2 seeds this season, finished third with 54 points by wrapping up their season with a couple of W’s against the Colorado Thunderbirds. Drake Cole of the Bucks enjoyed a hat trick in his team’s 5-2 win Friday at South Suburban Ice Arena. Saturday the T-birds put up a bigger fight—Levi Clemenson scored three, along with another from linemate Ben Joseph gave the T-birds a 4-2 lead halfway through the second. But Bucks Milou Lofstrom and Jake Wener would not be denied, adding two apiece to propel Breckenridge to a 7-5 victory.
The third-place finish grants the Bucks home ice for the preliminary round of the playoffs. They will take on the Glacier Yetis this upcoming weekend. Puck drops 7:50 pm both Friday and Saturday at Stephen C. West ice arena. If these two teams split, Yetis and Bucks will meet for their final match-up Sunday at 1:30 pm.
The T-birds finished out the season 7 points ahead of the fifth place Rampage, so they get to host the best-of-three series at their home ice arenas. The first game is slated for 8:30 pm Friday at South Suburban. Both teams will hit the ice again Saturday at 3:00 pm at Foothills Ice Arena in Lakewood.
Winners from the 3/6 and 4/5 series will advance to the single elimination final four, joining the Miners and Leafs at the Air Force Academy.
Read the article on the RMJHL website