JACKSON, Wyo. \u2014 The Jackson U18 Moose played a near-flawless game against Pinedale to win state on Sunday morning.\r\n\r\nThe final score is a bit misleading. It was closer than 7-2 and it wasn\u2019t really the offense that won it for Jackson as they clinched the state title just as the Jackson girls did so a week ago.\r\n\r\nTo get to Sunday\u2019s championship game, Jackson first had to eke one out over top-ranked Gillette. The Moose blew a 2-goal lead only to come back with a pair of their own in the 3rd period to seal a 4-3 win over the Wild.\r\n\r\nSecond seed Pinedale had a nail-biting journey of their own to get to championship Sunday. After dismantling Riverton 6-0, Pinedale needed overtime to slip past the Casper Oilers 5-4 to earn a date with Jackson.\r\n\r\nState title matchup\r\n\r\nDuring the regular season, Jackson had beat Pinedale 4-2 and managed a 3-3 tie in their only other matchup. After that tie on January 25 Jackson ripped off four straight wins to start state tournament play.\r\n\r\nPinedale came into championship play as the division\u2019s highest scoring team, scoring at a clip nearly twice that of Jackson. They had also surrendered the fewest goals of any team all season: 45. But Pinedale also takes a ton of penalties and Jackson does not.\r\n\r\nSunday, Sunday, Sunday\r\n\r\nIt doesn\u2019t sound flashy but it was discipline and conservative game play that won it for Jackson Sunday. The boys showed every sign of being coached up well\u2014they made smart decisions with the puck, they were patient, and they kept turnovers to a minimum. Above all, the Moose never lost their composure and they dictated the flow of the game by playing sound hockey.\r\n\r\nBoth teams kept things simple in the opening frame, neither wanting to create an odd-man rush with a mistake. Jackson goalie Ben Delaney was sharp when he had to be but didn\u2019t see much action in the 1st period as the Moose played a tight-checking game.\r\n\r\nFinally, with less than five minutes left in the period, Moose defenseman and team captain Rowan Wuerdemen made a nifty move to avoid a Pinedale defender and drilled a wrister stick-side high past Pinedale netminder John Mitchell to open the scoring.\r\n\r\nThe play happened just minutes after Delaney made a big stop on a Grade A scoring chance off the stick of Justin Morgan when he got free after Moose defenseman Colin Reese overskated a loose puck.\r\n\r\nWuerdemen\u2019s goal, his first of the playoffs, gave Jackson the spark it needed. The Moose pinned Pinedale in their own end with sustained pressure before Will Kucera pounced on a rebound off a Noah Luense shot to make it 2-0.\r\n\r\nThrough the first two periods, Jackson survived five minor penalties and a 5-minute kneeing major taken by John Dwan. They killed them all off with Delaney barely being tested.\r\n\r\nBoth teams traded punches for a fairly evenly played 2nd period until Jacob Crabtree deflected a Dwan shot from the point on the power play to make it 3-0 Jackson. The rout was on, right? Not quite yet.\r\n\r\nPinedale came out in the 3rd prepared to turn things around. Pinedale\u2019s Micah Crum beat Delaney off a rebound from a Kaden Irey shot just 17 seconds into the final period to make things interesting.\r\n\r\nPinedale fed off the energy and began asserting themselves, physically. They had Jackson on their heels for the next few minutes, pinning the Moose in their own end, quicker to loose pucks and winning one-on-one battles.\r\n\r\nJackson weathered the pushback, however, and a goal by Max French at the 5:45 mark was a huge relief for the hometown crowd. Pinedale kept pace with a beautiful backhander from Boyd Boylan that beat Delaney on the far side in the only spot it could have got past him.\r\n\r\nWith the score at 4-2, Pinedale picked up their physical play. Ten minor penalties were whistled in the 3rd period alone, including the second ejection of a Pinedale player for a \u2018head contact\u2019 hit.\r\n\r\nWith a little over five minutes to play in the game, Delaney made his biggest save of the morning against and, as often happens in hockey, the puck wound up heading the other way on the stick of the speedy Luense who put a fork in Pinedale with a goal to make it 5-2.\r\n\r\nFrom there it was garbage time. Two more late goals from Jackson and 20 more minutes in penalties made the final minutes tick by slowly.\r\n\r\nFinal score: Jackson 7, Pinedale 2.