Steamboat Springs Power plays are supposed to be good for the team with an extra player on the ice and bad for the team that's a man down. The Steamboat Springs High School hockey team has yet to get that memo.
The Sailors (4-0) scored their fourth shorthanded goal of the year en route to a 3-1 win against Summit at Howelsen Ice Arena on Saturday.
With just 1 minute, 45 seconds remaining in the first period and Steamboat on the penalty kill, Sailors winger Greg Ingalls intercepted a pass at the blue line, skated into the Tigers' zone and dropped a pass to Jake Stanford, whose wrist shot sailed over Summit goalie Nick Springer's right shoulder to give the Sailors a 1-0 lead.
"It's just living in the moment, that's what our coaches say," Stanford said about the shorthanded goal. "Our adrenaline is pumping and you just have to protect the net, and sometimes you just end up with the puck."
Stanford added a power-play goal in the second period when he deflected a Grant Ehrick shot past Springer.
Summit answered in the third period when Braxton Campbell took control of the puck behind the Sailors' net and set up Jake Motz in front of the crease.
The goal was the only blemish on the day for Sailors goalie Jeff Dawes. Dawes stopped 24 shots and was at his best in the second period when the Tigers were on the power play. Dawes stopped four shots in a row during the power play, stifling every Tigers scoring chance.
"We still had plenty of momentum from the tournament," Dawes said, referring to last weekend's King of the Mountain tournament championship in Vail. "I am happy with myself because I had been letting in a lot of goals in the third period. This game was definitely a confidence booster."
Stanford and Ingalls hooked up again late in the third period when Ingalls threaded a pass to Stanford, who went top-shelf to give Steamboat a 3-1 lead.
"They're getting good chemistry," Sailors head coach Jeff Ruff said about the line of Stanford, Ingalls and Jim Terry, each of whom finished the day at plus three. "They're working hard to see where each other are. They're very communicative as a line."
Stanford's hat trick was his second three-goal performance of the year. He now has eight goals in the first four games. Ruff was happy with the outcome but said he's still searching for production from his other lines.
On Saturday, the Sailors rolled four lines in the first period and three in the other two. Only the forwards on the top line - Stanford, Ingalls and Terry - made it onto the score sheet.
"We have our lines set up to try and even our production," Ruff said. "The score sheet isn't reflecting that right now, but I think we're seeing good productivity, good opportunities with all three of our lines. It's one of those things we're constantly working on, and there's no point to worry about one guy scoring all of our goals now. But if that's the case in February, then obviously we're easier to stop."
The Sailors next play at 1:15 p.m. Saturday against Aspen at Howelsen Ice Arena.