Craig Moffat County center Scott Smith had two game-tying goals and CJ Walt scored the game-winner, as the Bulldog hockey club came back from a two-goal deficit in the third period Wednesday to beat the visiting Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey Association Midget Major A team, 6-4.
"We started the game off bad. We were flat," Moffat County coach Jim Hall said. "We kept digging and took it to them in the third period."
Steamboat captain Vladan Chase scored a first period power play goal to put his team ahead with 9:04 left, but Smith answered for Moffat County less than two minutes later.
Steamboat then capitalized while skating with a 5-on-3 advantage.
Ryan Zywicki scored to put Steamboat (8-6 overall, 8-6 Rocky Mountain Youth Hockey League) ahead, 2-1, at the first intermission.
Moffat County (15-1-2 overall, 10-1-1 RMYHL) was shut out in the second period as Steamboat stretched its lead to 3-1 behind a goal by Erik Owen.
In the third, Moffat County became more aggressive - on and off the puck - climbing within one after a Mike Lefler tally.
Smith struck again, depositing a wrister past the glove side of the Steamboat net minder, tying the contest at three.
"At the beginning of the third period, I got angry," Smith said. "I figured we should be beating these guys, so I put my head down and gave it 110 percent. I thought if I kept trying, usually things work out."
Nathan Tomlin broke through the Steamboat defense, sliding a wrister between the legs of Steamboat's goalie, to put Moffat County ahead, 4-3, behind a chorus of "chuck wagon ho!" from the Moffat bench.
The term is used any, and every, time Moffat County take the lead.
Walt scored what would prove to be the game-winner less than three minutes later.
Chase scored his second goal of the night to pull Steamboat within one, but Moffat County's Colt Criswell scored an empty-netter for the final margin of victory.
Moffat County's Joel Pomeroy was ejected for fighting with 23 seconds left to play. He leads the team with 55 penalty minutes this season.
The loss was the fifth in a row for Steamboat, after an 8-1 start to the season.
"We just couldn't pull it together in the third period," Steamboat coach Mike McGlone said. "We just couldn't open it up and get any shots. It's that simple."
Moffat County swept the two-game season series, winning in Craig on Dec. 5, 4-1.
Next up for second-place Moffat County is a matchup with first-place Durango on Feb. 2.
"We better play a lot better against Durango," Hall said. "We've go to play smart if we are going to expect to win."
Steamboat has two games remaining, next up is Kremmling.
"We have two games left," McGlone said. "We plan on winning them. We are going to come out popping and ready to play."