Greeley, Colorado- Just about everyone had an impact in this offensive thriller for 8th ranked Colorado State Rams as they put up 17 points while giving up only 6 to Montana Grizzlies on Sunday afternoon. A total of 15 different players for the Rams had at least one point on the day, led by sophomore attackman Paul Larson (Columbine HS; CO) with 5 goals.
“It was important to us to go deep early in this game and for our bench players to play well,” said interim coach Alex Smith. “We got four lines of midfield in by the end of the first half and just about everyone on the roster got in the game at some point today, so that was a positive. We definitely need to work on making sure there is no drop-off when our bench goes in. Today, we let down a little in the third, but I thought we finished strong.”
It was evident that the Rams have a reserve force that is more than capable of making an impact in the game when given a chance. Colorado State freshman reserve goalie James Ratajczak (Fort Collins HS; CO) had 11 saves in just 29 minutes of playing time. Sophomore Jake Flax (Steamboat Springs HS; CO) was another surprise on the day with 3 assists, with two of those going to senior captain Joel Tromburg (Heritage HS; CO).
The score could have been a lot worse than it was, but an exhausted Montana team showed a lot of heart and determination and never gave up. This was their third tough game in just as many days, and it showed by the end of the game.
“They are too classy to admit it, but there’s no doubt that playing three games in three days hurt them,” noted Smith.
They definitely showed some bright spots during the game, and they have been successful in their first season in MCLA-1. During the weekend they went 1-2 against three top 25 teams, and are 5-3 on the season.
Their goalies had a remarkable combined 22 saves against a strong Rams offensive attack, and Will Freihofer will be a force to be reckoned with throughout the season for Montana. He had an impressive three goal performance against a physical and aggressive Rams defense, one of which was the first of a three goal scoring spree early in the fourth quarter which brought some life to Montana.
Next up for Colorado State is 17th ranked Florida Gators on Wednesday March 11th at 4 p.m., again at the University of Northern Colorado. It will be another tough game for the Rams against another top ranked team.
“Our game with Florida will be tough on Wednesday,” Smith said. “We don’t know a whole lot about them, so we will have to come out again with intensity and focus and make sure we play the game at our tempo. We are improving all the time right now and I’d like to see that continue into next weekend.”