Even though the Steamboat Wranglers outshot the top seeded Pikes Peak Miners 53-35, the home team skated away with a lopsided Game 1 victory. It was a tale of goaltending throughout the night, and Miners goaltender Matty Taylor came away the hero. In the first period, the twenty year old veteran made some spectacular point blank saves off of some dangerous turnovers coughed up near his net. It was a different story at the other end of the ice.
After making 98 saves in his two semifinal wins against the Aspen Leafs last weekend, Steamboat starter Cole Kohut let in three soft goals early in the game and was quickly replaced with Trevor DiLauro, who fared no better giving up four goals on the next 12 shots. Kohut would return to the game in the third period making 11 saves on 12 shots.
Down 5-1 just one minute into the second period, the Wranglers came alive on the scoreboard and made it a game by capitalizing on Pikes Peak mistakes with three goals in a 10 minute span. Unfortunately for the Wranglers, the comeback was short lived. Less than a minute after Steamboat's fourth goal, Miners Mathew Moscati netted his second of the night to take a 6-4 lead.
With Taylor's help in net, Pikes Peak never looked back, finishing the game with an empty net goal and 9-4 win. As he's done throughout the season, the Miners goaltending standout continued to impress by stopping 49 total shots.
Both teams take the ice again Saturday night for Game 2 of the best of three RMJHL Finals. Fans unable to make it to Sertich Ice Center can watch the game live online here.