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Pikes Peak edges Steamboat to win RMJHL championship

By Austin Colbert, The Aspen Times, 03/27/17, 7:15PM MDT

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by Austin Colbert, The Aspen Times

The Pikes Peak Miners defeated the Steamboat Wranglers 6-5 on Sunday at the Sertich Ice Center in Colorado Springs to win the 2016-17 Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League championship.

Sunday's finale was the third game of a best-of-three series. Pikes Peak, the regular-season RMJHL champions, won Friday's series opener 9-4, only to have Steamboat, which finished No. 3 in the regular-season standings, win Game 2 on Saturday, 5-1.

In the decisive third game, Steamboat trailed 3-0 in the second period before it scored three unanswered to send the teams to the third period tied 3-3. The Miners again took a two-goal advantage, only to have Steamboat answer with its own two goals to make it 5-5 with less than nine minutes to play.

With a touch under four minutes to play, Pikes Peak's Kole Mudra, who led the RMJHL in scoring this season, scored the game winner.

Pikes Peak goalie Matty Taylor was named the Most Valuable Player for the championship series.

Under coach Nick Harper, the Miners finish the season with a 36-9 record. They also finished with the best regular-season record a year ago in the RMJHL's inaugural season, only to fall to the Aspen Leafs in the championship.

The Leafs lost in the RMJHL semifinal this season, falling in three games to Steamboat. This was the Wranglers first season of existence.

acolbert@aspentimes.com