With Pikes Peak running away on top of the RMJHL standings the chase is on for the second spot and higher seed for the post season. Aspen Leafs currently hold this spot, but the Steamboat Wranglers are close behind. The first-year club have had an up-and-down season in search for consistency with hopes of peaking come playoff time.
Steamboat took to the road last weekend earning a two-game sweep over the Colorado Thunderbirds. With a game-at-hand the Wranglers now sit just four points back of the Leafs for that second spot. The teams meet again in two weeks.
Game 1 of the series was all Wranglers from the start as Jack McNamara opened scoring at 3:56 of the first. Donny Nordstrom scored his first of three shortly after as Steamboat took a 2-1 lead into the locker room.
The Wranglers broke the game open in the second, scoring four times to make the score 6-2. Three more tallies in the third made the final 9-2.
Final shot totals had Steamboat with a 57-34 advantage. Wranglers goaltender Cole Kohut made 32 saves to earn the victory in net.
The teams returned to Old Foothills Ice Arena the following night with a similar result. Steamboat scored three times in the first on their way to a 7-3 victory.
Quinny Baker scored first for the Wranglers with an assist to Kameron Fink. The veteran from Aurora would score a pair of goals on his way to a three-point night. By intermission McNamara and Cameron Knowlton had also scored to give Steamboat a 3-1 advantage.
Colorado would fight back in the second on goals scored by Levi Clemensen and Trever Haertl, which cut the Wranglers lead to 4-3. Fink would score before the end of the second to restore a two-goal lead.
Shots continued to pour in on Thunderbirds goalie Gage Overby, who stopped 53 of 60 on the night. Braden Ross made 36 saves to pick up victory number three on the season. His save% improve to .911 in 414 minutes played.