An evening to remember in Breckenridge was soured a bit Saturday night with the home team Vipers ending on the short end of the scoreboard. Visiting Vail Yeti earned a 6-3 victory in the Mountain West Hockey League season opener for both clubs.
The night began with a banner raising ceremony marking the 2015-16 MWHL Commissioners’ Cup title for the best regular season record. The visitors took little notice though scoring the opening goal just 2:52 into the game. Breckenridge would answer when veteran Zeke Yslas scored at 7:10 of the first. Despite being outshot by the Yeti 28-12 the period ended with the game tied 1-1.
Breckenridge had a different look coming out for the second frame, but Bill Foster scored for Vail at 4:40 of the second to make the score 2-1. The Vipers would again respond when Rick Batenburg scored his first of the season at 7:14. Shots in the period were 18-6 Vipers.
Momentum turned early in the third when Brent Sands scored his second of the game followed by a Justin Elmore goal just :31 later. Rookie Michael Luke would score his first-ever Vipers goal at 9:55 to make it 4-3, but the crowd was quickly silenced :15 late when Sands completed his hat trick. Vail would score once more, their fourth goal on nine shots in the third, to seal the 6-3 victory.
17:08 Vail-Brent Sands (Matt Merritt, Spencer Gold)
7:10 Breck-Zeke Yslas (Braxton Green, Kaleb Schway)
15:20 Vail-Bill Foster (Dalton Spellman)
7:14 Breck-Rick Batenburg (Tyler Cavan, Tyler Snyder)
17:35 Vail-Brent Sands (Kyle Dove, Ryan DeRousse)
17:04 Vail-Justin Elmore (unassisted)
9:55 Breck-Mike Luke (Brad Edelberg, Tyler Snyder)
9:40 Vail-Brent Sands (Kyle Dove, Ryan DeRousse)
7:42 Vail-Dalton Speelman (Bill Foster)
Vail-Spencer Gold (44 saves; 3 goals against)
Breck-Tom Brown (33 saves, 6 goals against)
— Breckenridge Vipers (@BreckVipers) November 13, 2016