JACKSON, Wyo. — The Jackson Hole Moose ran into a buzz saw last weekend hosting a hockey team from Texas that was talented, deep, and well coached.
The Texas Titans lineup boasted some ex-professionals and numerous high-level collegiate players, and they played like it. The visiting Titans wore down Jackson on both nights, securing an 8-3 win on Friday and a 6-0 shutout Saturday. It was the first time the Moose have been shutout in a regular season game since an 8-0 loss to the Sun Valley Suns on December 16, 2017.
The Moose were without one of their top scorers in Drew Akins. Also, backup goaltender Will Murphy was between the pipes Friday and a less than 100 percent Nick Krauss was back in net Saturday. Excuses aside, Texas was simply better.
The Titans were the more aggressive team and they got stronger each game as time went on. Both games followed the same script—a scoreless opening frame followed by a Titans squad that just kept pouring it on. They did not tire. They did not succumb to the effects of altitude.
Each night as the Titans found the back of the net in the second period, it forced the Moose to take more chances and the gambling backfired, leaving Murphy and Krauss exposed in goal.
Dakota Richardson and Jake Leitner had a goal and assist apiece Friday. Other than that, the scoresheet was decidedly tilted in the Titans’ favor. Ex-NHLer Rob Schremp was as advertised but he had plenty of help including a very talented Cam Snyder. Joe Bowler and Mitch Killian were solid on the backend. The goaltending tandem of Jimmy Smith and Christian Frey was stellar.
The Moose record falls to 10-4 and it won’t get any easier next weekend against the high-flying New York St. Nicks.
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