Colorado Springs, Colo. – The Colorado Springs Thunder earned their second straight PIHA Championship tonight, sweeping the New Jersey Grizzlies in four games. The Thunder skated past the Grizzlies, 5-2 and 3-1, in Games 3 and 4 here at the Tour Arena. Thunder goaltender Dan Lamb, who gave up only six goals in four games, was named Playoff MVP.
The Thunder won handily, 5-2, in the first game of the night to take a 3-0 lead in the series. The Thunder took a 2-1 leading heading into half time on goals from Brian Yingling and Eric Bogenrief. The second half was also all Thunder, as Yingling and Bogenrief each again to take a 4-1 lead. Andrew Brodsky notched a short-handed tally to pull the Grizzlies to within two goals midway through the second half, but Yingling completed the hat trick at 8:02 against Grizzlies’ goaltender Nuno Costa to make the final score 5-2. The Thunder outshot the Grizzlies, 21-17.
The second game saw the Grizzlies take a 1-0 lead on their first shot of the game thanks to an Andrew Brodsky tally at 3:54. But the Thunder responded at 10:05 to tie the game heading into the second half. Skating on the power play, Eric Bogenrief took a pass in the high slot from Brian Yingling and Nick Gonnella, and ripped a low shot past Grizzlies’ goaltender Nuno Costa’s glove side. Thunder captain CJ Yoder then sealed the game at 3:50 of the second half. Skating short-handed, Jesse Tuttle head-manned the puck up the right wing to Yoder who cut in and sent a backhander past Costa for the game winner. With only 1:50 remaining in the second half, Brian Yingling added an insurance goal, ripping the puck top-shelf while on the power-play to make the final score 3-1 in favor of the 2010 PIHA Champion Thunder. The Thunder outshot the Grizzlies, 14-12.
“We are thrilled to win repeat championships,” said Thunder Head Coach Dave Needham. “It was truly a team effort, and the Grizzlies were great opponents. We’d like to thank all the teams in PIHA, our staff, and most importantly our fans for a great season!”