The Steamboat Springs hockey team started its 2003 season with two impressive wins in Colorado Springs on Friday and Saturday.
Steamboat defeated Mitchell, 4-3, in overtime Friday to start the season and followed the win with a dominating 6-2 victory against Rampart on Saturday.
Both games were played at the Colorado College practice rink, which is 15 feet shorter and narrower than the Olympic-sized sheet Steamboat plays and practices on at Howelsen Ice Arena.
Assistant Jeff Ruff said the change in surface space certainly forced Steamboat to adapt.
"Our timing and spacing were a little awkward," Ruff said.
Mitchell skated to a 3-2 lead after two periods, but Steamboat's Phil Bush, a senior, netted the game-tying goal off an assist from senior Taylor Leary with 4 minutes, 22 seconds left in regulation.
Bush scored the game-winning goal just 28 seconds into overtime off an assist from junior Chris Baumann, Baumann's second in the game.
Also scoring goals for Steamboat in the Friday win against Mitchell were seniors Chris Timmerman and Casey Earp. Bush also had an assist in addition to his two goals.
Steamboat had little trouble with Rampart on Saturday. Skating on the same smaller surface at Colorado College, the Sailors scored six unanswered goals in the game's first two periods.
The Rams got a shot past Sailors senior goalie Cooper Lee late in the second and added another in the third.
Bush, one day after netting two goals, scored a hat trick for the Sailors. Timmerman had two goals and three assists in the Sailors' 6-2 win.
"We dominated," Ruff said. "(Saturday) morning we met with everyone and told them we would have to change what we did with some of our offensive entries. They know enough to adapt and want it bad enough to adapt."
Sophomore Sam Spillane accounted for Steamboat's sixth score. Baumann had two assists, and Bush added an assist as well in the Rampart win.
In the two games, Lee combined to make 34 saves on 39 shots on goal for Steamboat.
The Sailors return to action Friday against Machebeuf in Denver. Steamboat opens the home season at 1:30 p.m. Saturday against Summit at Howelsen.
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