Steamboat Springs Coming off two impressive recent victories, the No. 7-ranked Steamboat Sailors continue their run at a state playoff berth when they play host to the Demons of Glenwood Springs at 4 p.m. Oct. 5 at Dudley Field.
The Sailors, 8-2-1 and 5-1 in the conference, are led by the play of forward Mike Rinn, who has 16 goals on the year. Rinn had three goals against Moffat County Sept. 28 and scored once during a match against Battle Mountain Sept. 30. Steamboat defeated the Huskies 5-2 at Dudley Field.
Against Moffat County, Steamboat came out victorious 6-1 after Bulldogs coach Eric Johnson forced officials to stop the match early. Johnson refused to enter a substitute goalkeeper into the match after his starter was penalized in the second half. The frustrations of being down by such a large margin seemed to get the best of Johnson.
Though the match was stopped prematurely, Steamboat won the contest in grand fashion. The Sailors had five goals in the first half, and the team ran circles around the Bulldogs.
When Steamboat squares off against Glenwood Springs on Thursday, the high-scoring Sailors will be pumped up as the high school celebrates its homecoming. The team also will be fired up as it seeks to avenge a 2-1 loss at the hands of the Demons on Sept. 21.
Senior Sailor Andrew Johnston knows his team's first-place conference standing is at stake on Oct. 5. He recalled the last meeting between the two teams and says his teammates will be more prepared this time around.
"We pretty much dominated that whole game," Johnston said. "We just weren't able to score. We had tons of shots they just weren't going in. We're really pumped to play this game."
With only four games left until the regional playoffs begin, the Sailors couldn't have picked a better time to improve their scoring attack. Steamboat has 17 goals in its past three games and has exploded to the net on a number of other occasions for scoring opportunities.
Johnston said he anticipated a hard-fought match against the Demons, who are 7-3 and 4-2.
"Right now, we're first in the league, so this game's huge," Johnston said. "They're a strong team, but we're definitely able to beat them."
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