Men's hockey team even in first season

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Experience and team chemistry are team traits formed with time, and Fort Collins took advantage of both to defeat the Steamboat Coyotes on Nov. 19 and 20.

The Coyotes are Steamboat's new traveling men's hockey team.

"You just can't get some guys together, play a team like Fort Collins and expect to win," said Jens Owen, Coyotes general manager.

The Coyotes picked up two early season wins against teams within the Yampa Valley, so the 16-3 and 16-4 losses to Fort Collins dropped the Coyotes to 2-2 overall.

"We are practicing weekly and trying to instill some basic systems so we can play with teams like (Fort Collins)," captain Paul Mitchell said.

In their initial season, the Coyotes will play more than 20 games against teams throughout the Rocky Mountain region, including a Saturday road game against a men's team from Vail.

The Coyotes are planning a "Hockey Night in Steamboat" Dec. 17. One of the club's goals is to cultivate the hockey community, starting with the younger players.

In recent seasons, the local youths have skated between periods of Colorado Avalanche games. The NHL lockout will prevent that from happening this winter. Instead, the 7-year-old players have agreed to skate between periods of the Coyotes' game against Vail on Dec. 17 at Howelsen Ice Arena.

More information on "Hockey Night in Steamboat" will be available in the coming weeks, but the Coyotes' full season schedule is available at www.yvhc.com.

-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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