Jackson U18 boys win opening round, headed for showdown with #1 Gillette

JACKSON, Wyo. — The Jackson U18 Moose began state tournament play Friday night with a big win over Cheyenne by a 4-1 final score.

It was a night for underclassmen as the Jackson offense was powered by a hattrick from sophomore Max French. Fellow 10th grader Magnus Lowham added an insurance goal and netminder Thomas Berner surrendered just the one goal on 16 shots he faced as the 4th seed Moose cruised to victory over the 6th seed Capitals in the opening round of the state finals.

“They were excited to start. We had a lot of emotion, and then we relaxed and played a great game,” coach Matt Sauter said. “And Max French stepped up big.”

Jackson has benefitted this season from a “next man up” style of scoring with points spread fairly evenly through the lineup. Noah Luense lead the team in goals this season with 18. Anton Kudar pitched in a team-high 14 assists.

Pinedale (16-3-1) crushed Sheridan (11-8-1) in the other preliminary round game Friday night. Saturday’s play gets underway with top-seeded Gillette (16-2-2) taking on Cheyenne (7-12-1). The 2nd seed Casper Oilers (16-3-1) faceoff against Sheridan.

Jackson plays Gillette at 5:45 p.m. Saturday. The Moose beat the Wild, 4-2, that last time these teams met back on January 4. But that was Jackson’s only win over Gillette in four regular season games. Jackson is unbeaten in its last 7 games.

The championship game will take place Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. All games played at the Snow King Sports and Event Center.

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