Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs U12 girls hockey team won its division of the Adele Dombrowski Girls Tournament on Sunday at Howelsen Ice Arena.
It was just a year ago that team members broke out into song after winning their first game.
On Sunday, they won their first championship, defeating Colorado Springs, 1-0. It was Steamboat's second win in as many days against one of the state's top U12 girls teams. The wins also were Steamboat's first against Colorado Springs.
The local girls, who are fifth- to eighth-graders, won all four games en route to winning the trophy.
It's a huge turnaround," assistant coach Dave Hartley said. "We've had a great season. It's their last year in U12s for most of them. They've done the program for three or four years, and it's all clicked together."
Hartley said he and coach John Harris have emphasized staying spread out and playing positional hockey instead of chasing the puck around.
"That's huge," Hartley said.
Steamboat defeated Sum--mit, 6-0, on Friday and beat Colorado Select, 3-1, on Saturday morning. Steamboat then beat eventual runner-up Colorado Springs, 2-1, on Saturday night before posting the shutout-win Sunday. Steamboat goalie Ellana Williams got the win, making nine saves.
Meghan Lukens, a seventh-grader, scored the game-winning goal unassisted on a surprise shot.
"I was behind the goal, and I passed it in front of the net, waiting for someone to knock it in," Lukens said. "I was trying to pass it to one of my teammates. The puck hit the goalie, and it bounced in."
Lukens said she didn't see the puck go into the net.
"I remember they blew the whistle, and my teammates started hugging me," said Lukens, who is having fun in her first season of hockey.
The Steamboat U12 girls were the only local team to advance to Sunday's championships of the Adele Dombrowski Girls Tournament. The tournament was named after Adele Dombrowski, a high school senior and hockey player who died in September.
Twelve teams attended the tournament for U12, U14 and U19 girls teams. The Aspen Hockey Association donated $500 to the Adele Dombrowski Memorial Fund. Dombrowski's No. 17 jersey was dedicated in a Saturday ceremony, and her number appears in a pink heart on the boards at Howelsen Ice Arena.
Two Aspen teams made the finals in the U14 division, and Aspen 2 defeated Aspen 1, 2-1. In the U19 division, Colorado Select from Littleton defeated the Utah Lady Grizzles, 3-1. The Grizzlies are a combined team from Salt Lake City and Ogden.
The three wins picked up by the Steamboat's U12 girls team during the weekend weren't league wins, but the girls likely will be a top-three seed when the state playoffs open in March.
"We still have a team in Den--ver -- Colorado Select -- that's our nemesis team," Hartley said "We haven't beat them, but we can play with them."
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org