Pinedale Bantams State Champs
by Larry Proud
March 3, 2005
The Pinedale Bantams traveled to Cheyenne to play in the State playoffs in the B division last weekend. The Glaciers entered the tournament in third place.
Their first opponent was the Cheyenne Capitals. The game started out with solid hockey from both teams. Jeremy Silvey got Pinedale on the board first with an assist from Matt Meiring halfway through the first period. The awesome forechecking by both sides ended the first period: Glaciers 1, Capitals 0.
In the second period both teams played even until the second period. With the Glaciers killing a penalty, Silvey jumped on a loose puck and got a short-handed goal. The Glacier’s forwards, Michael McDaniel, Silvey, Jason Meiring, Broc Seipp, Shane Underwood and Wes Schwab, all shot the puck consistently during the third period, but could not find the twine for the remainder of the game. The defense of Lincoln Proud, Matt Meiring and Kathryn Konicek did an excellent job of shutting down the Capitals’ offense. John Stach had a flawless game in net stopping all 25 shots with his lighting fast reflexes.
The Glaciers next opponent was the Sheridan Hawks. The Glaciers were expecting a tough game since the Hawks were the second place seed in the tournament. The WAHL series between the two teams was a 1 to 1 split for the Glaciers. Sheridan was first on the board with only 1:28 ticked off the clock in the first period. This would test the Glaciers to see if they were a comeback team.
The Glaciers answered the call with a wrister from Proud off a pass from Jason Meiring. The Glaciers and the Hawks finished up the first period 1 to 1. Stach had an awesome first period turning away 16 shots. In the second period, the Glaciers turned up the heat with 1:57 ticked off the clock. Silvey and Matt Meiring teamed up for the goal and the assist. The two teams played even up hockey, but the Hawks put the pressure on by out-shooting the Glaciers 11 to 3 in the second period. Stach was calm and cool in the net stonewalling the Hawk’s offense.
The third period found the Glaciers back on track with Silvey getting his second goal of the game with an assist from Underwood. The Glaciers rounded out the third period with Proud earning his second goal. This final goal was due to tape to tape passes from McDaniel and Schwab, and a nice screen in front of the Hawk’s goalie by Broc Seipp. Stach finished up the second game with another stellar performance turning away 33 of 34 shots. With the Glaciers win over the Hawks, Pinedale was in the State Championship game.
The Glaciers opponent in the State Championship game would be their arch rivals, The Cody Ice Cats. The Glaciers knew that this would be a tough game. In regular season the Glaciers went 0-1-1 against the larger Cody team.
The Glaciers were on the board first with a wrist shot from Proud at the blue line; McDaniel had set up a beauty of a screen in front of the Cody goalie. The Glaciers and the Ice Cats battled it out for the rest of the first and second periods. Glacier forwards McDaniel, Schwab, Silvey, Underwood, Jason Meiring, and Seipp did an awesome job of forechecking, which did not allow the Ice Cats time or space to move the puck.
Meanwhile the defense of Matt Meiring, Konicek and Proud, along with the goalie play of Stach, kept the Ice Cats off the board until 6 minutes into the third period. Cody finally squeaked one by Stach. With only 8 minutes left in the game and the score being tied up 1-1, things were heating up.
The Glacier’s rallied for their second and last goal of the game Matt Meiring got the goal, assisted by Jason Meiring and Proud. It came down to a battle of wills. The Ice Cats pulled their goalie to add more offensive pressure. But, when the final horn sounded, the Glaciers were on top, 2-1. Stach rounded out the championship game with 26 saves out of 27 shots. It was a well-deserved victory for the Glaciers after three years in the State playoffs going in as the #1 seed only to be eliminated early in the round robin games. The coaches would like to thank all their players for stepping it up when it counted and making the individual effort to create a winning season.