Two local hockey teams battle for title

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— When the playoffs for the Continental Divide Youth Hockey League open this year, two local teams will be among the state's elite battling for a title.

This week, the Terry Sports Bantam A team will take to the ice in Colorado Springs as the No. 4 seed. The Steamboat squad will face undefeated Foothills in the first round, which will be played at 9:45 p.m. Friday.

Steamboat Springs tied Foothills Sunday to secure the final spot in the tournament.

Greg Ingalls and Gunde Schrock scored the Steamboat goals in the 2-2 game. It was the second time the squads faced each other last weekend.

On Friday, the local players lost a heartbreaking 5-4 game to the Foothills team. Jim Terry, Schrock, Matt Beilhartz and Jake Stanford all scored in the game. The Steamboat team lost defenseman Bjorn Lickteig in the game.

"We needed to have the tie to assure a spot in the state playoffs," coach Dan Bonner said.

Foothills, Summit County, Pueblo and Steamboat will play this weekend for the right to play in the state championship game. Only the winner will advance to the title game, which pits the top team from the Continental Divide league against the best from the Colorado Competitive Youth Hockey League.

Meanwhile, Steamboat's midget minor team will begin the state playoffs March 7 in Colorado Springs. Those playoffs were pushed back a week because the Colorado High School Activities Association reserved most of the regional ice for the state high school hockey playoffs.

Aspen, Laramie, Steamboat and SCAHA will play each other in the four-team tournament. The winner will advance to the state championship game against the winner of the Colorado Competitive Youth Hockey League. Steamboat will face Laramie in the first round.

"We are pretty confident right now, but not too confident," midgets coach Peter Arnold said. "We have a lot of talent on this team and we expect to be competitive in the playoffs."

-- To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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