February 3, 2014 – The UW Hockey Club played in a small four team tournament over the weekend in Grand Junction, Colo. put on by Colorado Mesa. Participating teams were Colorado Mesa, New Mexico, a Non-ACHA Team, and your Cowboys. Wyoming began the tournament with a few minor struggles but was able to pull it out and return to Laramie as the tournament Champions.
The Cowboys started their games Thursday afternoon to a Non-ACHA Team from Grand Junction. After the first two periods of play, the Pokes were only leading by a goal. During the third period is when Wyoming started to connect as a team and ran away with the game, winning 9-3.
Friday held two games for Wyoming, 11:00am against No. 15 New Mexico and 5:00pm against Colorado Mesa. The Cowboys were tied with the Lobos 1-1 until New Mexico snuck in two goals giving them a 3-1 lead. It wasn’t until the last three minutes of the third period before the Cowboys would put one away and cut the lead to one goal. Two quick minutes later, Wyoming tied up the game at 3-3 and would go into a shootout. The first two shooters for the Cowboys made their shots against the Lobos goaltender but a big hand goes to Wyoming tender Scott Romano (Cheshire, Conn.) for stopping both of the New Mexico shooters, giving Wyoming the win.
The later game with Colorado Mesa was very similar to the New Mexico game, Cowboys were tied with the Mavericks for most the game. Wyoming had the lead with one minute to go in the game but gave up a costly goal, allowing Mesa to take it to another shootout. The Cowboys struck the back of the net with the first shooter, but that would be all they would get. Fortunately that’s all they needed, tender Scott Romano came up big again for the Cowboys, stopping all three of Mesa’s shooters. Now 3-0 in the tournament, Wyoming heads to the Championship game on Saturday at 4:00pm.
The Cowboys would play New Mexico in the Championship game. Wyoming dominated the game from start to finish, crushing any hope New Mexico had of winning the final game of their season. The Cowboys scored two goals in the first and three in the second period, Wyoming leads 5-0. The Cowboys had a very effective defense and offense all game, but the star of the game went to Wyoming goaltender Sloan Locker, capturing the shutout, and stopping all 35 shots by the Lobos.
The Cowboys (17-11) will have their final Regular Season games this weekend against Border War rivals Colorado State. Friday night, which will be the final home game for the Cowboys, starts at 8:00pm here at the Laramie Ice & Events Center. Saturday night will be down the road at EPIC in Ft. Collins, Colo. at 7:15pm.