Rocky Mountains Division

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Rocky Mountain Roundup 2012-13, Volume VI

Three games marked a busy RMD schedule in Week 7, starting on Saturday with the two inner city rivalries. 

The Denver rivalry was up first, as the second and third place clubs battled it out.  The first half was an evenly matched defensive battle, with only one goal by FC Denver.  In the second half FCD would resume their winning ways against the Dynamite, scoring 3 straight goals (including one off a two man advantage) to take a commanding 4-0 lead midway through the third.  After the Dynamite scored their first goal, FC Denver scored two straight to take a 6-1 lead early in the fourth.  The clubs would trade goals the rest of the way, resulting in an 8-3 victory for FC Denver.

FC Denver continued their dominance over the Dynamite, despite the fact that FC Denver has been dominated by the Colorado Blizzard, who in turn have a loss and tie to the Dynamite.   Shane Wheeler led FC Denver with 2 goals, and Ian Marcheschi led with 2 assists.  Alex Aguirre and Raul Elias had 1 goal and 1 assist each for FC Denver.  Tony Thomas led the Dynamite with 2 goals.  

The Colorado Springs rivalry was up next, late Saturday night.  The Colorado Blizzard had a chance to increase their lead in the division if they could get by the resurgent CSC Cavalry.  The Blizzard would strike first as both teams were feeling each other out in the first quarter.  The Cavalry evened the match early in the second off a corner kick.  The Blizzard would dominate offensively for the rest of the half, scoring 3 straight goals to take a 4-1 lead.  The Cavalry would then score 2 goals to open the second half, but that is the closest they would get as the Blizzard defense shut them down the rest of the way, earning a 10-3 victory.

Justin Dzuba had a season high 48 saves for the Blizzard, along with a 94% save percentage.  Jesse Black led the Blizzard attack with 3 goals and 1 assist.  Ryan Creager and John Molet had 2 goals apiece.   Clayton Zelin had 4 assists for the Blizzard.   Mitch Lobdell, Kelly Robinson, and Jonathan Dzuba were single goal scorers for the Blizzard.  Pete Randall, Eduar Rodriguez, and Osbaldo Valencia scored for the Cavalry. 

The Cavalry would have to travel north to Westminster on Sunday afternoon in the second match of the weekend for both clubs.  The Green Machine was still on fire from the night before, scoring three goals in the first quarter and never looking back.  Ryan Tuomi, Jesse Woodworth, and Matt Haager did the honors in the first.  Tyler Imbrogno opened the scoring in the second for FCD, increasing the lead to 4-0.  Pete Randall opened the scoring for the Cavalry midway through the second, followed by two more FC Denver goals (Ryan Tuomi, Brady Yarletts) to close the half at 6-1.  The third quarter slowed down as Pete Randall scored the only goal, closing the gap for the Cavalry to 6-2.  A seven goal shootout ensued in the fourth quarter as FC Denver scored four (Edgar Olivas twice, Ryan McAleer, Shane Wheeler), and the Cavalry scored three (Jesus Chavez, Pete Randall, James Jones).  

The match ended in a 10-5 victory for FC Denver, however it was never really in doubt.  Edgar Olivas led the FC Denver attack with 2 goals and 2 assists.  Raul Elias led in assists with 3.  Ryan Tuomi had 2 goals, and Jesse Woodworth had 1 goal and 1 assist.  Tyler Imbrogno was named MVP for FC Denver.  Pete Randall led the Cavalry with 3 goals, and Jeremiah Kirschmann had 2 assists.  

Earning defensive player of the week was a close race between FC Denver's AJ Fleisher and the Colorado Blizzard's Justin Dzuba (two keepers who are in a constant battle for the limelight), however Dzuba's season high of 48 saves and a 94% save percentage could not be ignored; earning him the coveted position this week. 

The offensive player of the week title was no different as the Colorado Blizzard's Clayton Zelin checked in with 4 assists while teammate Jesse Black went for the hat trick that was braced with an Assist. But it is Raul Elias who walks away with the prize this week having been a consistent factor in the FC Denver offense notching a total of 1 goal and 4 assists laced with some fancy footwork and a multitude of chances to add to his prowess.

After week 7, the Blizzard regain sole possession of first place with 4 wins, 1 loss, and 1 tie (13 points).  After a weekend sweep, FC Denver jump into second with a record of 4-3 (12 points). The Denver Dynamite drop to third, but not far behind with 3 wins, 2 losses, and 1 tie (10 points).  The only club to be eliminated from the division title and PASL Nationals berth chase are the CSC Cavalry, with a record of 1-6 (3 points).  The premier week 8 match is between the Dynamite and FC Denver at Westminster Sports Center on Friday night at 8:30pm.  The loser will most likely be eliminated from championship contention, barring a Cavalry upset of the Blizzard on Saturday in Monument at 8pm.  If the FCD-Dynamite match ends in a draw or a FC Denver victory, the Blizzard can still clinch the title with a victory over the Cavalry. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Rocky Mountain Roundup 2012-13, Volume V

                The Denver Dynamite and the Colorado Blizzard met in the headline match of RMD Week 6, and the rivalry took a new turn as the Dynamite beat their counterparts to the south for the first time.   The Dynamite desperately needed a victory in this match to keep pace with the Blizzard in the Division standings, and had their work cut out for them, playing without key stars Tony Thomas, Jay Hamilton, and Mike Ogletree. 

                The Blizzard took a halftime lead of 4-2, and similar to their first encounter of the season the Dynamite would rally.  This time however, the Dynamite would surpass the draw they earned in December.  Younger players Greg Borchers (1 goal), Luke Burgard (2 goals), and Jordan Oakley would make key contributions for the Dynamite in the second half.  With the Dynamite offense in full force the game was tied 6-6 after 3 quarters.  The game would remain close, still tied with 4 minutes remaining at 8-8.  The Dynamite would score the final 2 goals to win 10-8, handing the Blizzard their first regular season loss since February of 2011. 

                Tony Avery led the Dynamite attack with 1 goal and 4 assists.  Josh Elbaum and Sean Stedeford both had 1 goal and 1 assist each.  Odobong Obettete led the Blizzard with 3 goals and 1 assist.  Eric Goldberg had 1 goal and 2 assists, while Mitch Lobdell and Jesse Black both had 1goal and 1 assist.  Dynamite Goalkeeper Garrison Goodner fought through the flu to earn 48 saves and preserve the victory.  

                Earlier in the night, the CSC Cavalry earned their first victory of the season in a defensive battle against FC Denver, winning 2-1.   Beto Hernandez and Poncho Puente scored the goals for the Cavalry, with the assists both going to Tyson O’Neil.   Goaltender Orlando Rojas gave up only one goal behind a stellar Cavalry defense.  The lone FC Denver goal was scored by Joel Miller, assisted by Edgar Olivas. 

                Cavalry Player/Coach Pete Randall had this to say about the winning effort:  “As for the game as a whole, we really reworked our defensive structure this week.  After giving up as many goals as we have, we figured something must be done.  So we moved a couple of players back there, kept them at home and focused on our defensive system.  Obviously, it paid off.  We are looking to build on this, and stay a lot more competitive in our games going forward.  It does get very difficult very quickly however, as we have 2 this weekend in a very short period of time, including a trip to the Blizzard where we were hammered 14-4 last time.”

                Tony Avery earns the Offensive player of the week by being involved in half of the Dynamite’s 10 goals, scoring 1 goal and 4 assists.  FC Denver Goaltender AJ Fleisher earned Defensive player of the week, making a number of spectacular saves in a 2-1 loss, keeping his team in the match. 

                With each club having three games remaining in the season, the Denver Dynamite move into a first place tie with the Colorado Blizzard after their victory.  Both clubs have a record of 3 wins, 1 loss, and 1 tie (10 points).  Despite the loss, FC Denver remains in third place with a record of 2-3 (6 points).  The CSC Cavalry improve to 1-4 (3 points).  This Saturday, the Denver Dynamite Host FC Denver at the APEX Field House at 8:30pm.  The Colorado Blizzard Host their cross town rivals, the CSC Cavalry at 10:40pm at the Colorado Springs Sports Center.   In the second match of the weekend for both clubs, the CSC Cavalry travel to the Westminster Sports Center on Sunday at 3:15pm to face FC Denver.  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Rocky Mountain Roundup 2012-13, Volume IV

A pair of Sunday afternoon matches marked the schedule in Week 5 of the Rocky Mountain Division. The big match of the day was for first place in the standings, the final meeting of the season between the Colorado Blizzard and FC Denver.  In their only home match versus the league leading Blizzard, this match was FC Denver’s big chance to take the Division lead.  The green machine came out fighting in the first quarter but could not finish any of their opportunities, and the Blizzard took a 1-0 lead.  In the second quarter the Blizzard would gain more control of the match, pulling away to a 3-0 lead at the half.

In the third quarter FC Denver would respond with a Shane Wheeler goal, deflecting in a Tyler Imbrogno shot.  With the game in reach for FC Denver at the beginning of the fourth quarter at 3-1, the Blizzard would show why they are still the team to beat in the division, outlasting FC Denver with 3 straight goals to win 6-1.  

AJ Fleisher turned in a hard fought performance in goal for FC Denver, despite the loss.  Justin Dzuba continues to be a dominant force in goal for the Blizzard, with 14 saves and only one goal allowed.    The Blizzard offense spread the scoring around yet again, this time with 6 different one goal scorers - Ryan Creager, Devin Williams, Brian Contreras, Jesse Black, Jesus Ramirez, and Jonathan Dzuba.  Contreras also had one assist, and Mitch Lobdell had 2. 

The second match of the day involved two clubs fighting to get back in the race, as the Dynamite hosted the Cavalry.  The Dynamite would jump out to a 2-0 lead after the first quarter, and would never trail.  Despite the Cavalry scoring first in the second quarter, the Dynamite would answer back with 2 to take a 4-1 lead at the half.

Both clubs would open it up offensively in the third quarter, scoring 3 goals apiece.  Every time the Cavalry would score the Dynamite attack had an answer, maintaining a 7-4 lead after 3.  Denver would pull away in the 4th quarter, winning 10-5 in their best offensive effort of the season.  Javier Larios and Travis Carey were multiple goal scorers for the Dynamite, and Beto Hernandez also had 2 for the Cavalry. 

Colorado Blizzard Goalkeeper Justin Dzuba earns Defensive Player of the Week yet again, with 14 saves, a 93% save percentage, and only one goal allowed in a pivotal match.   Javier Larios earns Offensive Player of the Week in a breakthrough match for the Denver Dynamite.  Larios led the high scoring Dynamite with 5 shots, 2 goals, and 1 assist. 

Entering Week 6 the Denver Dynamite jump over FC Denver into second place (2 wins, 1 loss, 1 tie, 7 points), setting up another #1-#2 showdown at the first place Colorado Blizzard (3 wins, 1 tie, 10 points).  The match takes place on Saturday night at 10:40pm, at the Colorado Springs Sports Center.  A win by the Blizzard gives them a solid lead, and a win by the Dynamite forces a tie for first.  FC Denver drop into third place (2 wins, 2 losses, 6 points), however they are far from out as they sit only one point behind the Dynamite.  They will look to get back in the win column as they travel to Monument to take on the CSC Cavalry (0 wins, 4 losses).   Kickoff is Saturday at 8pm.  

Monday, January 7, 2013

Rocky Mountain Roundup 2012-13, Volume III

Following a narrow 5-4 regular season loss to the Dynamite, the CSC Cavalry ventured to sin city to represent the PASL-Premier and Rocky Mountain Division in a US Open Cup Round of 16 Clash with the PASL Southwest leading Las Vegas Legends.   A small CSC Cavalry squad of only 10 field players and one goaltender made the trip for the December 28th match, making the task even more difficult against their professional counterparts.

The Las Vegas Legends would jump out to a 2-0 lead in the first quarter when a scuffle broke out, culminating in a Red Card on the Cavalry’s Beto Hernandez for throwing a punch.  The ensuing 5 minute penalty would allow the Legends to score another goal, taking a 3-0 lead at the end of the first.   With only 9 field players and facing a speedy Las Vegas club that was gaining advantages even while shorthanded, the floodgates opened on the Cavalry in the second quarter.  The Legends would light up the scoreboard for 7 more goals, including 2 each from Felipe Gonzalez and Lucho Suarez.  Ricardinho had 3 assists and 1 goal in the quarter, and Vegas had a commanding 10-0 lead at the half. 

The valiant Cavalry would not give up, and they slowed things down in the third quarter. Regardless, the Legends increased their lead to 13-0.   The Cavalry would break through in the fourth with two straight goals from Miguel Avila and Francisco Evora, only to be answered by 5 straight Legends goals.  Evora would assist Deane Williams of the Cavalry for the final goal of the match, an 18-3 victory for the Legends.  The Legends attack was led by two hat tricks from Emmanuel Ayim (+2 assists) and Edgar Nava (+1 assist).  Ricardinho led the Legends with 4 assists (+1 goal).  Goalkeeper Orlando Rojas made an incredible 37 saves for the Cavalry, despite giving up 18 goals.  The Legends would go on to beat the Tacoma Stars in the Open Cup Quarterfinals the following week, and now look to dethrone the 3 time defending champion San Diego Sockers in the Open Cup Semifinals on January 18th.  

Returning to Rocky Mountain action and a New Year, Week 4 would see only one match – the first meeting between the CSC Cavalry and FC Denver, at the Colorado Sports Center in Monument.   In a defensive match, FC Denver pulled out a 5-2 victory.   The Cavalry were 0 for 1 on the power play while FC Denver went 1 for 3.  Pete Randall led the Cavalry with 2 goals, with assists from Poncho Puente and Eduar Rodriguez.  Shane Wheeler led FC Denver with 2 goals, while Tyler Imbrongo and Dave Kroening had 1 apiece.  Edgar Olivas and Mat Haager had one assist each for FC Denver.  Grant Lundberg led the overall FC Denver attack with 3 assists and 1 goal, earning him Rocky Mountain Offensive Player of the Week.   FC Denver goaltender AJ Fleisher earned Defensive player of the week, with 21 saves, only 2 goals allowed, and a 91% save percentage.   Fleisher is the second FC Denver goalkeeper to earn the honor.  

Entering Week 5 the Colorado Blizzard are still in the lead with 2 wins and a tie (7 points).  FC Denver is close behind with 2 wins and 1 loss (6 points).  This will set up one of the most important games of the season, as FC Denver hosts the Blizzard at the Westminster Sports Center, with First Place on the line.  Kickoff is this Sunday at 3:15pm.  The third place Denver Dynamite sport a record of 1 win, 1 loss, and 1 tie (3 points).  They will host the fourth place CSC Cavalry, who are 0-3 (0 points).  The Dynamite-Cavalry match is also on Sunday, 4:15pm at the APEX Fieldhouse in Arvada.