Bantams fall to champs

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— Against expectations, Steamboat Springs' Bantam A hockey team found ways to win.

A No. 4 seed in nearly every tournament it played toward the end of the year, Steamboat overcame its seeding to finish high.

Last weekend, the Bantam A team's season came to an end at the hands of Colorado Springs Black team in the Colorado Amateur Hockey Association state playoffs at The Edge ice arena in Littleton.

Colorado Springs went on to win the state title at the Bantam A level.

"They were a really good team," Steamboat coach Dan Bonner said. "I was pleased to play them 4-1. Most teams they were beating, the scores were 8-0 or 10-0."

Steamboat's Billy Taylor had the Bantam's lone goal early in the third period. Steamboat goalie Sean Kuusinen made 30 saves. Steamboat managed to make 19 shots on goal, compared with Colorado Springs' 34.

"Sean was a busy boy," Bonner said.

But Steamboat wasn't fa--vored to make the state playoffs after finishing fourth in the Continental Divide Youth Hockey League. It went into the league tournament as a No. 4 seed. Steamboat upset Pueblo, the No. 1 seed, in the first round and defeated the No. 3 seed in the next round.

Pueblo, the other team to advance in the championship bracket, came back and defeated Steamboat in the league finals to garner the No. 2 seed for the state playoffs. Steamboat traveled to Littleton as the No. 4 seed.

Colorado Springs (No. 1 seed) and Arvada (No. 3 seed) were the state representatives from the Colorado Competitive Youth Hockey League.

The Bantams were the only A division team from the Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey Association to ad--vance to the state CAHA state playoffs.

The Bantam division is made up of players 13 to 14 years old.

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

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