Storm sweep past Breckenridge, 9-0

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— The Steamboat Storm women's hockey team rolled past the Breckenridge Blast last week and picked up some much-needed confidence in the process.

"It's our first win of the season and I think it gave us a little more confidence with what we are doing on the ice," player Lisa Owen said.

Owen feels the Storm will be able to use the momentum they gained in the 9-0 shutout win over the Blast in the squad's next scheduled series against the Vail Twin Peaks team. Those games will take place at Howelsen Ice Arena Dec. 14 at 9 p.m. and Dec. 15 at 10 a.m. The Storm is now 1-2 in the Women's Association of Colorado Hockey's B division. Owen said she hopes the local women's team has grown since a pair of season-opening losses. The Dec. 14-15 games should be a good test for the local team.

"This Vail team is new to the league, but they've had other club hockey teams in the past and are just moving up," Owen said. "I think they should be pretty good games."

The Steamboat women played a pretty solid game against the expansion Breckenridge Blast on Nov. 23 in Breckenridge.

Diane Letson scored the only goal the local team would need in the first five minutes of the game. Her shot was set up by a nice play from Julie Worden, who was credited with the assist.

But the Storm didn't stop there. In a hard-fought first period, Steamboat extended its lead with four minutes remaining in the period. This time Kelly Halpin scored on an unassisted effort.

The Storm blew the game wide open in the second period behind two goals from Diane Anderson. Owen, Deb Rose and Worden also scored in the second period. In the third, Patty Chovan and Mary Whelihan added goals to put the game away.

"We didn't want to run up the score, but it's hard not to take the shots when it's there," Owen said. "We were able to slow things down and try a few things we haven't been able to attempt in other games this season. Hopefully, we will be able to use what we learned in a closer game this season."

The Storm unleashed 25 shots on the Breckenridge goalkeeper while Steamboat goalkeeper Marie Dailey was tested only one time in the game. She earned the shutout.

While coach Dave Strang was happy with the women's performance in the game, he knows the team still has work to do.

"This was a great confidence builder for our team. It's the type of game we can start to build on and hopefully improve," Strang said.

He said the team took advantage of the game to work on cycling the puck and several offensive schemes.

"The key for this team is for our players to stay calm and focus on the game," Strang said. "Sometimes they tend to get distracted by all the things that happen in a hockey game the line changes, referees' calls and forget about the basics. If we can keep them focused, this should be a good season."

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