The Steamboat Springs hockey team won twice and lost once, playing three road games in four days.
The Sailors defeated Doherty, 3-0, on Friday but fell to Air Academy, 6-3, on Saturday. Steamboat then turned around and defeated Summit, 4-3, on Monday night. Steamboat has not scored fewer than three goals in the past five games and appears poised to make a strong run in the second half of its season.
The one loss to Air Academy stung, but it wasn't devastating, assistant Jeff Ruff said.
"Air Academy was the best team we've seen all year," he said. "We played well against them. We don't like to lose, ever, but in that loss, we felt like we had opportunities to score and didn't. We felt like we played with them."
Steamboat opened its weekend road trip with a shutout win in Colorado Springs against Doherty, a league opponent. Freshman Jeff Dawes got the win in net, stopping all 11 shots he faced.
Senior Chris Baumann scored a goal and was credited with an assist. Freshman Jake Stanford and junior Tanner Grimes also scored goals. Senior Brad Bonner, who recently returned to the lineup after an injury, got an assist. Junior Gunde Schrock and sophomore Jace Bonner also recorded assists.
"It was good to see Jake, as a freshman, picking up points," Ruff said. "He had a smoking weekend."
Coach Dave Strang and Ruff tinkered with the lines, mixing up players with positive results. Stanford was added to a line with Baumann and senior Clay McKenzie, and he flourished in Colorado Springs. In the loss to Air Academy, Stanford scored two goals, with Baumann assisting on both. Baumann also had an unassisted goal late in the third period.
Cody Paul had a hat trick and an assist for Wayne Marshall's Air Academy Kadets.
Steamboat senior Randy Rule started in goal against Air Academy, stopping 35 Kadets' shots on goal.
"Randy has been absolutely stellar against Battle Mountain (Jan. 5) and Air Academy," Ruff said. "Our defense has been good. Jace Bonner is quietly putting together a fantastic season. (Senior) Daniel Coloccia is playing his typical strong defense. (Senior) Chris (Ruff) is playing very strong, and Jake had a breakout weekend."
Steamboat avenged an early season loss to Summit on Monday, winning a close one in Frisco.
Junior Jon Reese scored a goal, as did Schrock. Those players recently were added to a line with senior Dillon Dennis. Baumann also scored two goals, bringing his total to four goals and three assists in the three-game stretch. Rule started in goal for Steamboat.
Steamboat (4-6 overall, 1-2 in Foothills League play) returns to action at 6:30 p.m. Friday against Colorado Academy at Howelsen Ice Arena. The Sailors host Pine Creek at 1:15 p.m. Saturday at Howelsen Ice Arena. Both games will be broadcast on KRMR100.5 and 107.3 FM.
"We're excited to get back to the rink to practice and employ the new systems," Ruff said. "In all the road time Dave and I have logged, with the three days of practice we'll have, Friday night, you'll see a different Sailors team than you've watched. We are going to jump into the second half of the season with a new look."