For the second-straight game, the Steamboat Springs hockey team looked the part of league title contender.
Steamboat defeated Wasson, 7-1, on Saturday at Howelsen Ice Arena behind an overpowering offensive attack. The Sailors outshot the visiting Thunderbirds, 69-8.
"Their goalie did an outstanding job of keeping us out of the net or else the score could have been much more lopsided," Steamboat assistant Jeff Ruff said.
Despite playing a majority of the first period in Wasson's end, Steamboat and the Thunderbirds skated to a 1-1 tie at the end of the first 15 minutes.
Sailor junior Brad Bonner scored at the 8 minute, 51 second mark off assists from senior Curtis Nelson and sophomore Tanner Grimes. The Thunderbirds responded less than three minutes later on a shorthanded goal from Brett Raver.
The Sailors finished better in the second period, starting with defenseman Jamison Allee's goal at the 6:53 mark off an assist from sophomore Sam Gary.
Less than 30 seconds later, senior Taylor Leary capitalized on a Wasson defensive breakdown for an unassisted goal, giving his team a 3-1 lead.
The Sailors added to their lead as time expired in the second off senior defenseman Jamie Lokkesmoe's score on a pass from junior Donald Dillon.
Steamboat started the third much as it ended the second when senior Chris Timmerman split the seam for a goal at the 14:05 mark. Senior Phil Bush and junior Chris Baumann were credited with the assists.
Less than a minute later, the combination of Bonner and Nelson found senior Casey Earp for the first of his two third-period goals.
Each team had four penalties, proving once again how dangerous a team Steamboat can be when it stays at full strength.
"(Head coach) Dave (Strang) and I were both proud of the guys in the way they responded to an inferior team," Ruff said.
Steamboat improved to 6-1-1 on the season and 3-0-1 in Mountain league play with the win.
The biggest games of Steamboat's season arrive this weekend when the Sailors and Howelsen Ice Arena welcome Battle Mountain and Aspen.
Steamboat takes on rival and state championship favorite Battle Mountain at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Steamboat turns around and takes on league title contender Aspen at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208
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