Monday, February 16, 2004
The Steamboat Springs hockey team wrapped up its 2003-04 regular season with a 4-2 loss to league rival Aspen.
Earlier this year, the Sailors fell 4-3 to the Skiers in overtime and were seeking to avenge that loss in Aspen on Friday.
Assistant coach Jeff Ruff said that while Steamboat played great in the team's first meeting, Aspen upped its play in front of the home crowd.
The game was even through two periods before the Skiers pulled away in the third with two goals, including one on a power play.
"In the third period we went for a span of seven minutes where there was no stoppage of play," Ruff said. "That's half a period. It's tougher to make coaching decisions without some time. It was a fast-paced hockey game that went back and forth with opportunities at both ends."
In that seven-minute span there were no offsides or even icing, almost unthinkable for high school hockey, but the final 15 minutes flew by, and Steamboat left Aspen with the loss.
The Sailors scored the game's first goal midway through the first period off a shot from junior Chris Baumann. Seniors Phil Bush and Chris Timmerman had the assists.
Aspen scored its first goal near the end of the first and went ahead in the second before junior Ryan Brees, off an assist from senior Tucker Greene, evened it up before the end of the period for Steamboat.
The Skiers scored the final two goals. For the game, Aspen had 28 shots on goal, while Steamboat had 21. The Sailors outshot the Skiers, 10-8, in the first period.
The regular season for all teams has come to an end.
The Sailors finished 9-7-1 overall and 5-5-1 in the league and will open postseason play as the No. 9 seed after finishing fourth in the Mountain League.
Aspen, Cheyenne Mountain and Regis placed ahead of Steamboat.
Steamboat will play No. 8 seed Liberty (14-4 overall, 6-4 in Metro League) at 5:30 p.m. on Friday at Dobson Arena in Vail. Liberty finished behind Battle Mountain and Machebeuf in the Metro League
If the Sailors win, they will turn around and face top-seeded Battle Mountain at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Vail; assuming Battle Mountain defeats No. 16-seed Coronado on Friday night.