Moose drop two nail-biters to Vermont

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – The Jackson Hole Moose ended their season with a bitter pill, dropping two close games to the visiting Vermont Flex by identical 3-2 scores.

The final scores were the same but the games were markedly different.

Moose player stats from 2018-19 season.

Friday, the Moose chased the Flex all night as Vermont took one-goal leads into both intermissions. Ben Pullar tallied in the second. Tom Hartnett evened things in the third.

But it was not to be. Vermont squeezed the life out of the Moose offense with a committed and smothering D. Blueliners Jack Burton and Brendan Cosgrove were an impenetrable pairing that logged big ice time. When the Vermont defense did break down, goaltender Emerson Verrier (40SOG, 38 SV) was there to save the day.

Jackson looked sloppy and disjointed for most of the game Friday. Passes failed to connect and there were simply no open looks in the Vermont zone.

Saturday, it was the Moose jumping out to the lead on goals from Ben Pullar and Charlie Bemis. But again, Moose sharpshooters were held off the scoresheet. Leading scorer AJ Sanders was blanked in both contests, as were Alex Dewitz and Dan Dupont.

The Moose nursed a 2-0 lead into the third when Vermont slowly began to show signs of life. Three late goals by the visitors stunned the sellout crowd at the Snow King Sports and Event Center and made for another 3-2 loss for Jackson.

Moose goalie Nick Krauss saw plenty of rubber Saturday, turning away 41 of 44 shots. The game was also noticeable clean with no penalties called for the 60-minute duration.

The Moose finish the 2018-19 season with a 21-7 record. Next up is the Black Diamond Hockey League championship. The single-elimination playoff will feature the Moose hosting the Bozeman Stingers Friday night. The winner will face the Sun Valley Suns on Saturday for the title and possession of the Joe Casey Cup. All games will be played in the Snow King SEC March 8-9.

Knuckles hands out the knuckles before every game. (Reaction Photography)

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