Sailors skate to win

Hockey takes tourney for second time in row

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— Summit, Battle Mountain and Aspen were regarded - and ranked - as the state's best high school hockey teams entering this weekend's King of the Mountain Tournament.

But for the second time in as many years, the Steamboat Springs High School hockey team left Dobson Arena in Vail as champions.

A day after beating Summit, 4-3, Steamboat stayed perfect by defeating Battle Mountain, 5-4, in overtime and Aspen, 2-1.

"We're really getting the guys to focus on the job at hand," Sailors coach Jeff Ruff said. "That is the key. Guys are focusing on their role on the team and doing what they need to do."

Steamboat and Battle Moun-tain traded goals in the first two periods, Ruff said. The back and forth action continued in the third period. After Steamboat took the lead, Battle Mountain scored halfway through the third period to re-tie the game.

But the Sailors claimed victory just 10 seconds into overtime when Tim Ascher threaded a cross-ice pass to Jimmy Terry, who knocked the puck into the back of the net.

"It was perfect," Ruff said.

It was Terry's second goal of the game. Jake Stanford, Jace Bonner and Cody Fritz also scored for the Sailors.

In its afternoon tilt with Aspen, Steamboat took a 2-1 lead into the third period behind goals from Billy Taylor and Stanford - his fifth of the tournament - before junior goalie Jeff Dawes took over the game. Dawes made 10 of his 27 shots in the final frame in what Ruff called "a big time" performance.

The win gave Steamboat a 3-0 record and allowed it to complete its first goal of the year - winning the King of the Mountain Tournament.

"As a teacher, we set goals for short-term, middle-term and long-term," Ruff said. "Short-term was to win that trophy. Next is to go into the Christmas break undefeated, and we're right where we want to be."

The Sailors play at 1:15 p.m. Saturday against Summit at Howelsen Ice Arena.

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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