The weather was unseasonably cold in Durango, and so was the Fort Lewis offense in a 15-8 loss to Westminster on Friday night. In a game that likely decides the top seed for RMLC DII playoffs, the Skyhawks came up short and now face a tougher road to a conference championship and a bid to the MCLA National Tournament. The Griffins looked every bit the #3 ranked team in the nation as they moved to 11-1 on the season. A disciplined offense, high pressure defense, excellent goalie play, and faceoff domination made the game an uphill struggle for the young Skyhawk squad. Contrast some spectacular individual efforts by Westminster players with an uncharacteristic bout of unforced turnovers for the Fort and the Skyhawks were never able to mount a momentum changing run. After the opening goal was scored by Brian Lynch, the Skyhawks never managed to hold another lead in the contest. Fort Lewis will have to wait until April 20th to rebound from the loss, as Sunday’s game against Colorado Mines was cancelled due to weather.
The game was not without highlights for Fort Lewis, as the Skyhawk defense forced multiple turnovers throughout the contest, creating transition scoring opportunities, and goalie Cody Viereck played his best game of the season with 16 strong saves. The Fort had their fewest penalties in a game this season, with only 2 minutes, and still managed to play a physical game, dominating on overall groundballs despite losing the faceoff battle. The Skyhawks managed to create numerous chances to get back into the game with their own spectacular individual efforts, but couldn’t manage to break through. Fort Lewis finishes their season at home on Friday, April 27th at 7:00pm against traditional rival Western State in Ralph Dennison Stadium.
Complete game stats at http://mcla.us