Moose give fans a thrilling weekend to close out the season

JACKSON, Wyo. — The Jackson Hole Moose sure gave fans their money’s worth over the weekend as they pulled off two thrilling wins in exciting fashion.

Playing without points leader AJ Sanders and another top forward in Tom Hartnett, the Moose struggled to develop quality scoring chances against the Vermont Flex. Both teams, in fact, played sound defensively and allowed few odd-man rushes.

Vermont and Jackson traded goals Friday night until Drew Akins finished a hattrick with the game’s final tally in the 3rd period. The Moose prevailed 5-4 in a game that featured the unveiling of the Girls U19 and Boys U18 championship hockey banners in the rafters at second intermission. The fans ate it up.

Saturday’s contest was another nailbiter with the Moose surrendering the tying goal to the Flex in the final seconds of regulation. With Alex Dewitz in the box and the goalie pulled for an extra skater, Vermont managed to stuff the puck home during a scramble in front to make it a 4-4 game.

The 3-on-3 five-minute overtime usually favors the home team as Moose skaters are better conditioned at altitude for the open-ice skating the OT demands.

With Vermont wearing down, defenseman Brad Improta executed a perfect give-and-go with Akins, who fed him back the puck right in the crease and Improta did not miss.

The 5-4 OT victory sent the fans home happy in the final game of the regular season. Jackson Hole finished 20-6 on the year, the fourth consecutive season the team has hit the 20-win mark.

The Moose travel to Sun Valley next weekend to take on the Suns for the championship Joe Casey Memorial Trophy.

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