ROCK SPRINGS – The Pinedale Glaciers high school hockey team began its state title defense on Friday in Rock Springs with a slim, 5-4 victory.
“It was the first game of the year so it was a little sloppy, but it was good to see the things we're going to work on,” head coach Sam White said.
After a scoreless first period, Jayden Currah assisted Jacob Sundgren to give Pinedale a 1-0 lead. Rock Springs scored the next two goals, both within 36 seconds of each other, but Pinedale answered less than a minute later. Kaden Irey assisted Cody Crumb and the two teams went into the third period tied at 2.
Rock Springs took the lead four minutes into the period. The Glaciers, however, scored the next two goals to take the lead back. Currah and Fender Allison IV assisted Sammy White to tie it, 3-3. Crumb then scored an unassisted power play goal to take the lead.
Six minutes later, Rock Springs scored on a power play of its own to notch the score at 4. Less than a minute after Rock Springs took the lead, the Miners got another power play opportunity. This time, however, Pinedale came up big and scored a short-handed goal. Currah assisted Crumb to give Pinedale a 5-4 lead and the Glaciers held on the rest of the way to finish on top.
“Our team was in good shape and we were able to tire them down,” Coach White said.
After winning a state title last year, the Glaciers want to stand on top of the podium again this year.
“Our goal is to win the state tournament,” Coach White said. “We want to make a return trip and do the same thing.”
Seniors Carson Stinson, Cody Crumb, Preston Williams and Hannah Mivshek will lead the team. Stinson and Crumb are also captains, along with junior White.
In the crease, John Mitchell and Kellen Schupp both played about half of the Rock Springs game. Mitchell made 14 saves while Schupp stopped 12 shots.
“They both did an excellent job in the net,” Coach White said.
With younger players filling out the roster, the team has been able to play three forward lines and two defensive lines.
“I'm looking forward to seeing good things this year and for years to come,” Coach White said.
To win a title again this year, however, Coach White said Jackson, Casper, Gillette, Laramie and Sheridan are some of Pinedale's biggest obstacles.
“They'll all be in the mix,” he said.
The Glaciers will play their first home game of the season at 7 p.m. on Saturday against Gillette (2-1-1). Pinedale will also play Gillette at 9 a.m. Sunday.