After Pikes Peak and Steamboat traded wins (each by a four goal differential) Friday and Saturday night, it seemed destined that the final game Sunday afternoon (Sertich Arena) would be decided in the final minutes. That was exactly the fate that determined the 2016-17 RMJHL championship. With just under four minutes left in regulation, Pikes Peak forward Kole Mudra netted the game winner lifting his team to a 6-5 victory.
In a highly entertaining game, the Wranglers erased a three goal deficit in a span of just over five minutes late in the second period. Donny Nordstrom buried two of the Steamboat goals in their flurry of offense. The teams entered the second intermission tied 3-3. In the third period, Miners captain Christian Gums recorded his second goal of the game, followed up with a tally by Patrick Alldredge to give Pikes Peak a 5-3 cushion with just under 11 minutes remaining on the clock. Once again however, the Wranglers stormed back with goals by Cameron Knowlton and Easton Jones less than a minute apart to tie the game 5-5. After Mudra's go-ahead goal, the Miners defense held firm, killing off a late Wrangler power-play and extra attacker.
Like the first two games in the best of three series, Steamboat outshot Pikes Peak by a large margin (62-36). Miners goaltender Matty Taylor finished his junior career with 57 saves in the final game. With 48 saves in the game-one win Friday night, his impressive performance earns him MVP honors for the RMJHL championship series.
Led by Head Coach Nick Harper, Pikes Peak finishes an impressive season with a 36-9 overall record. In their first year as members of the RMJHL, the Steamboat Wranglers led by Head Coach Troy Mick claim second place with a 29-13 overall final record.
The Pikes Peak Miners: 2016-17 RMJHL Playoff Champions, Sertich Ice Arena, Colorado Springs, CO
Shaun Hathaway (RMJHL President), Christian Gums (Miners Captain), Brian Copeland (RMJHL Board, Miners Director)