Saturday, November 30, 2002
Steamboat Springs Darby McNamara knows what other teams are thinking.
One quick glance often down at the tiny 13-year-old leaves many to believe he couldn't possibly hold his own on the ice.
But as Steamboat Springs Bantam coach Tim Anderson said, "Size doesn't matter, and you can quote me on that."
McNamara is proof.
He's barely 4 feet tall, but he's a nine-year hockey veteran and as quick as anyone in the rink.
In Saturday morning's game against a much larger, quicker University of Denver team, McNamara showed his speed, getting behind Denver's defense to score Steamboat's lone goal. David Comeau was credited with the assist.
"He set me up just right," McNamara said.
The problem was Steamboat could do little to slow the Denver team, losing 6-1 in the second day of the three-day Rocky Mountain Rumble Tournament at Howelsen Ice Arena.
The Steamboat Bantam team is the house team, while the larger Denver program brought its Bantam B team, featuring players with physiques more like those of experienced high school seniors with speed to match.
However, Anderson said facing good competition benefited his team.
"We wanted to concentrate on the little details," he said. "We wanted to win the race to the puck and play position hockey. In the third period we played even, and there's nothing to say we can't do that the whole game."
A six-goal deficit proved too much for the home team to overcome.
Denver scored two goals in the first and added three in the second to more than secure its victory over Steamboat.
Five different players found the back of the net for DU, led by Steven McCormack's two goals.
Steamboat had its chances to trim DU's lead, as it spent 8:29 between the second and third periods combined on several power plays.
Denver, however, did a good job of killing the penalty and often kept the puck in its own zone.
Steamboat goalie Elliot Girard stopped 24 of 30 shots, while DU goalie Wesley Martin turned away 15 of the 16 shots he faced.
Steamboat did manage eight shots on goal, compared to DU's four in the third period.
In other round-robin action, the Bantam team lost to Laramie on Friday but defeated Vail 8-0 on Friday night. McNamara had a hat trick in the second contest.
"He's a very effective player," Anderson said.
Steamboat's Midget team went 0-2 on Friday, dropping games to DU and Laramie.
The Midget consolation and championship games are this morning at Howelsen. The consolation game begins at 6 a.m. The championship game is scheduled for 9:15 a.m. and the Bantam championship game is scheduled for 7:30 a.m.