Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs High School hockey team is hoping to build on momentum gained from a Saturday win against Kent Denver when the playoffs begin Friday.
Steamboat hosts Rampart at 4 or 6 p.m. at Howelsen Ice Arena. The Sailors (13-5 overall) and Rams (12-7) did not play against each other during the regular season.
"We don't know much about them," Steamboat coach Dave Strang said. "They haven't had any games on a big ice surface. On our home rink, we usually play well."
Steamboat plays on an Oly--mpic-sized sheet of ice, which is larger than most ice arenas in Colorado. The ice at Howelsen Ice Arena also is harder than most rinks.
"Our kids are used to the big ice, the hard ice," Strang said. "Our ice temperature is pretty cold. It's pretty fast and very well-maintained here."
The winner of the Steamboat-Rampart game will play the winner of Friday's game between Battle Mountain and Mitchell. The Steamboat/Rampart vs. Battle Mountain/Mitchell game is at 1:15 p.m. Saturday at Howelsen Ice Arena. The winner of Saturday's game advances to the state semifinals Feb. 24 at World Arena in Colorado Springs.
"We haven't made it past the first round before," Strang said. "It's a big weekend. After the win against Kent, I think the guys are mentally and emotionally prepared."
Steamboat defeated Kent Denver, 2-1, in overtime Sat--urday in Denver.
After falling, 5-4, to Summit on Friday, Steamboat avenged a Feb. 1 loss to Kent Denver with the 2-1 win.
Steamboat got on the board first when senior Jacob Pearson scored with 12 minutes, 35 seconds left in the first period. Sophomore Jake Stanford was given the assist. Kent Denver evened the game with 36 seconds left in the first period.
The game remained scoreless through the second and third periods, sending it to sudden-death overtime.
"We came out in the second period and had 22 shots on net," Strang said. "Once again, their goaltender kept them in the game. The third period was wide open, back and forth, but not really resulting in a lot from that."
Midway into overtime, Steam--boat senior Jon Reese, back from a shoulder injury, knocked in the game-winning goal on assists from Pearson and senior Sam Gary.
"It was kicked out to Alec Idoni," Strang said. "He put it on net. Someone slid it over to Jon, and he knocked it in."
Steamboat lost to Summit, 5-4, on Friday.
Steamboat's playoff hockey games can be heard on 100.5 or 107.3 FM.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org