Jarrett Sturtz scored a hat trick in the first period Sunday when the Steamboat Wranglers routed the Pikes Peak Miners, 9-2, in the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League championship game.
Cole Kohut made 31 saves in the win.
Sturtz helped Steamboat open a 4-1 lead after one period. The Wranglers stretched the lead to 7-2 after two periods.
Kohut had a 20-save shutout in Saturday’s 4-0 semifinal win over the Colorado Rampage.
The playoffs started Friday when Noah Vanderbeck made 53 saves and Chris McClorey scored 13:44 into overtime to lift the Colorado Rampage over the Colorado Thunder, 1-0.
Pikes Peak beat the Breckenridge Bolts, 8-3, in Saturday’s other semifinal behind two goals by Brett Hawkins and a goal and three assists from Jake Komrofske.
EHL PLAYOFFS: Joseph Verboys scored four goals when New York Applecore defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, two games to one, in a first-round Eastern Hockey League playoff series.
The other three first-round series ended in two games.
Chris Peters had six points to help the Walpole Express sweep the New England Wolves.
Devin Panzeca and Charlie Page each had two goals and three assists and Korbinian Lutz posted a shutout to lead the East Coast Wizards past the Vermont Lumberjacks.
The Philadelphia Little Flyers beat the Connecticut Oilers.
The Philadelphia Revolution, Connecticut RoughRiders, New Hampshire Avalanche and Boston Junior Rangers all received first-round byes.
The eight remaining teams play another round of playoffs this week after which the four survivors will advance to the EHL Frozen Finals March 22-25 in Providence, Rhode Island. There, three days of round-robin play will determine the two teams for the March 25 championship game.
NA3HL RECAP: Ryan Reifler scored two goals Sunday when the Binghamton Junior Senators defeated the Oswego Stampede, 4-1, to finish with the North American 3 Hockey League’s top record.
Binghamton, the Northeast Division champion, finished 41-3-0-3.
Brad Becker from the Junior Senators finished as the league scoring champion with 53 goals and 63 assists in 116 games. He had nine game-winning goals.
The other division champions, with their records: North Iowa Bulls, Central, 39-4-2-2; Metro Jets, East, 40-6-1-0; Texas Brahmas, South, 40-7-0-0; St. Louis Jr. Blues, Midwest, 38-9-0-0; Yellowstone Quake, Frontier, 37-5-3-2; New England Stars, Coastal, 36-9-2-0; and Granite City Lumberjacks, West, 33-14-0-0.
The Southern Tier Xpress won three straight weekend games to clinch the final berth in the Fraser Cup playoffs. Stuart Pearson, Chris Dusek and Michael Keller scored two goals each in an 11-1 rout of the Roc City Royals.
There are 15 first-round playoff series, in best-of-three formats, beginning as early as Wednesday and continuing, if necessary, as late as March 19. St. Louis has a first-round bye.
Eric Vanderhoff from the Skyland Kings also surpassed 100 points, scoring 53 goals and assisting on 53.
Two players who split time with two different teams posted the league’s best goalie statistics.
Brady Anderson, who started with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights and went unbeaten in regulation with Binghamton, led with a 1.38 goals against average and eight shutouts.
Drew Scites went 20-0 playing for the North Iowa Bulls and Great Falls Americans. He led the league with a .949 save percentage and was second in GAA at 1.42.
USHL ROUNDUP: Jack Hughes had four goals and two assists for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program on Saturday in an 8-2 romp over the Tri-City Storm, giving him points in 20 of his 22 United States Hockey League games this season.
Waterloo Black Hawks defenseman Ben Finkelstein has 18 points in 12 games since joining the team, following his three-assist effort Saturday in a 5-1 win over the Dubuque Fighting Saints.
ONE-TIMERS: Derek Daschke, a 20-year-old from Troy, Michigan who is a captain of the Chicago Steel and has 70 points in 224 career USHL games, has committed to the University of Nebraska-Omaha. … Ryan Keane played for the first time in more than a month and put together back-to-back shutouts for the Philadelphia Rebels in a sweep of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, saving 24 shots Friday and 14 Saturday in back-to-back 3-0 North American Hockey League wins. … The Aberdeen Wings became the first NAHL Central Division team to clinch a playoff berth Saturday when Joe Strada and Nic Sicoly each had a goal and assist in a 4-1 win over the Bismarck Bobcats.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.