Chix's spirits high

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The Steamboat Chix with Stix women's hockey team has won one game in 16 opportunities, including two recent losses to the Left Hand Brewsers on Feb. 12 and 13, but don't judge the team by its record.

The 1-14-1 mark doesn't tell the whole story.

"We used to lose by five or six goals," player Cathy Wiedemer said. "Now, we're losing by one, and it comes down to the last minute. We feel like we've been clicking. It's been encouraging in that respect."

The Chix are in the Women's Association of Colorado Hockey A League, the toughest in the state. Frequently, the teams Steamboat goes up against have deeper benches and more experience.

The Chix don't like to lose, but they aren't about to give up, not with a series of home games coming in March and the WACH A Tournament in April.

"Even if we're down, everybody goes right until the final buzzer," Wiedemer said. "We're still having fun, and we're not discouraged. We're building now toward the tournament."

The lineup has changed from game to game, because of maternity leave and day-care conflicts, which Wiedemer said the team jokes about, considering men's teams rarely have to deal with such issues.

"It's still a priority and love for all of us while trying to balance life issues," she said.

This year, the team has added several players, including Carly Helm, a high school player who has given her time to the Chix when she's not tied up with her other two teams.

"It's been awesome having Carly play for us," Wiedemer said. "She likes hanging out with us, which we all laugh about. She's so talented, so she motivates us, and we motivate her."

Wiedemer said coaches Tim Shorland and Rob Kiem also motivate the team.

"They couldn't be more supportive and more encouraging," she said.

The Chix's next games are next weekend in Denver and Boulder.

Last weekend, Steamboat lost, 2-1 and 4-3, to the Left Hand Brewsers. The Brewsers had a 2-0 lead by the end of the second period. The Chix got on the board with 2 minutes, 14 seconds left in Saturday's game off a goal from Wiedemer. Diane Dwire was credited with the assist.

The Chix pulled goalie Carol Vittore, who played all weekend with the flu, but couldn't score. Steamboat did manage to outshoot the Brewsers, 29 to 14, but got only one past the visiting goalie.

In Sunday's loss, both teams managed more offense. Dwire found Wiedemer again for a goal 3:15 into the first period. Lee Cox scored Steamboat's second goal off an assist from Sue Heineke. The Brewsers scored twice in the first period, as well.

The visiting team pulled ahead, 4-2, at the end of the second, and Steamboat came back to within one with 1:03 left in the game off a perfectly placed goal from Dwire. Lisa Owen was given the assist.

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

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