It took the entire 40-game regular season to find a titlest in the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League. In the final game and final goal the Steamboat Wranglers claimed the top seed for the upcoming playoffs with a 7-6 overtime victory over the visiting Colorado Thunderbirds.
The Wranglers (32-7-0-1) battled with defending league champion Pikes Peak Miners (32-8-0-0) all season for the top spot, needing at least a point in their season finale. The home team responded with fury after an opening minute goal by the T-birds. Five different goal scorers gave Steamboat a 5-1 advantage at first intermission and a title within their grasp.
Levi Clemenson and the Thunderbirds scored an early power play goal in the second frame, but it was answered just 2:01 later by Joel Rothman scoring his second of the game to make it 6-2.
Momentum then took a swing in the favor of the fifth place T-birds. Trevor Haertl scored at 7:34 of the second to make the score 6-3, which held until second intermission. Clemenson added another tally 2:57 into the third before Eric Wilson made it 6-5 less than two minutes later.
Both teams had their chances in the period, but with four minutes to go a penalty had the Thunderbirds chances looking dim. A faceoff in their defensive zone led to a breakout where Clemenson finished his hat trick and tied the game at 6-6.
Not to be outdone this day Rothman scored his third of the game at 1:07 into overtime to give the Wranglers the victory. With it the top seed and first round bye in the playoffs next weekend.