Bantam A Braves wrap up holiday tourney

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— The Steamboat Bantam A Braves hockey team traveled to the Arvada Bantam Holiday hockey tournament last weekend and returned home with the championship trophy.

The first game pitted the Braves against the Arvada Patriots.

Steamboat came away with a 3-0 win with goals coming from Sam Gary, Daniel Coloccia (on an assist by Nick Pruett) and Ryan Brees. Ben Robbins posted a strong shutout as goalie.

The Braves' second game was against the Littleton Hawks. Behind goals from Nick Crislip, Coloccia and two from Brad Bonner, the Braves coasted to a 4-1 win with Randy Rule guarding the net.

The next game was a hard-fought contest against the Pueblo Panthers with Pueblo coming out on top 2-1. Coloccia scored Steamboat's lone goal on an assist from Tanner Grimes. The fourth game in two days featured the Braves taking on the Foothills Flyers.

A first period goal by Coloccia, assisted by Pruett and Sam Spillane, along with a second period goal by Pruett assisted by goalie Robbins, gave the Braves a 2-1 lead going into the third period.

The Foothills team was able to score two goals in the final period to secure the win. With a three-way tie for second place and a ticket to the championship game at stake, tiebreaker points, shutouts recorded and number of goals in a victory helped move Steamboat into the championship game for a rematch against Foothills.

In what was perhaps the most exciting game of the tournament, Steamboat fell behind 2-1 heading into the third period, with the Braves' goal coming from Chris Baumann, assisted by Pruett. With 2 minutes remaining in regulation time, Baumann netted a goal assisted again by Pruett.

The first overtime period was sudden death, four on four. The five-minute period was full of wide-open end-to-end action.

After the score was still tied, the second overtime featured three-on-three action. Two minutes into the second overtime, Dusty Atkinson popped in a rebound off a Baumann shot, giving the Braves the championship title.

Clay McKenzie, Chris Ruff and Blake Worsley provided strong defense throughout the tourney. Nathan Rothe and Nate Coram were instrumental on offense.

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