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Rankings are for the Taking

By Sarah Sweeney, RMJHL Director of Communications, 01/18/16, 5:15PM MST


Lots of action on the ice is heating up in the Rocky Mountain region

The Colorado Thunderbirds’ dynamic duo—Levi Clemenson and Ben Joseph—continue to rack up the goals in an effort to give the T-birds some momentum in the league standings. In Friday’s come-from-behind win against the Breckenridge Bucks, Clemenson and Joseph put on a clinic for all of those in attendance. Just a couple minutes left in the first period, the T-birds were down 5-1 to the Bucks, with Clemenson responsible for the only tally for the T-birds.

What followed may have been a season-changer for the T-birds, who entered the contest in 5th place. With less than a minute remaining in the first period, Clemenson scored again (with an assist from Joseph), and 20 seconds later, teammate Skylar Budman added another to bring them within two. In the second and third, goals by Joseph and Clemenson (both assisting each other) sent the game into overtime. It was Joseph who lit the lamp in overtime to give the T-birds the win, and move them up to share 4th place with the Colorado Rampage. T-birds coach Cam Clemenson had a lot of praise for his team and was impressed at the duo’s 8-point night. “The boys showed a lot of character,” stated Coach Clemenson.

Saturday night the Bucks came out blazing, but again, the ice tilted and the T-birds staged their comeback. A 7-1 lead late in the second, as a result of four goals by Buck Drake Cole and one each by teammates Seamus Stoyle, Jake Wener and George Kamins—the T-birds scored four unanswered goals to bring them within two. “Although we ended up losing a heartbreaker, we did have some accomplishments,” Clemenson explained. “Dante Palomares had his first goal of the season and his junior hockey career.”

Although the Bucks walked away with three points from the weekend, coach Jesse Davis knows that at this stage of the season, nothing can be taken for granted. “Our games this weekend were interesting. We underestimated the T-birds and thought we could just walk right through them,” Davis added. “They battled hard both nights. We had some moments where we did dominate. Then we put it on cruise control and made some costly mistakes.”

The Aspen Leafs took two from the Grand Junction Glacier Yetis this past weekend, cementing their first place standing within the league. Despite the fact the Yetis lost the pair of games, it is very apparent that this team has little quit in them when the scoreboard becomes lopsided. Yetis Jack Rousseau enjoyed a hat trick Friday night, while Jackson Burns and Andre Talarico both had a two point night. Final score – 9-4 Leafs. Yetis coach Brian Cersosimo commends his team’s efforts “There is a determination to working hard to get the things done and they know despite the score, that we still have items to work on leading to the end of the season.”

Saturday’s game began with two goals scored by the Yetis early in the first. Tom Bowe of the Leafs found a new gear and unleashed five goals for the night. Half way through the game, the Yetis tied it up to 4-4 before Aspen went on their run. “Just a continuation of working hard to be prepared for playoffs and seeing what we can do well and what we need to improve on,” Cersosimo added. The Yetis chipped in one more, ending this wave of offensive at 10-5 in favor of the Leafs.

The Rampage traveled to the Springs this past weekend for their matchup against Pikes Peak Miners. Rampage Jack Hinton had a couple of goals Friday night, but seven of the 40 shots on goal were effective by the Miners, and that was all they needed to take the win, 7-2.

Rampage held the lead Saturday night thru the first with a lone goal by Samuel Gilmore. It was all Miners for the remaining two periods as Kole Mudra enjoyed a hat trick, and goals by Jake Eubank, Ranen Lawe, Ty Snyder, Michael Pennell and Cameron Komrofske allowed them to leave Sertich Ice Center the 8-1 victors. “Our group really has not been the same since the holiday break,” Miners head coach Nick Harper noted. “Friday night, we played just okay. Finally, on Saturday, our guys looked like we did before Christmas break. Our complete game, puck possession and team play, was where it needs to be moving forward.”

Game series this upcoming weekend include Breckenridge hosting Aspen at 8:05 both Friday and Saturday nights; Rampage and Thunderbirds are tied with 20 points in the standings and will battle it out in Monument 8:00 pm Friday, and again Saturday at 5:30. The final weekend series between Pikes Peak and Grand Junction will take place at Sertich Ice Arena – puck drops 7:50 pm Friday and 6:20 Saturday.