Steamboat Springs What the Steamboat Springs High School hockey team giveth, it can taketh away.
Just when it looked as if Doherty had all the momentum in the second period of Saturday's game, the Sailors scored three goals in a 2-minute, 17-second span to defeat the Spartans, 4-1, at Howelsen Ice Arena.
"I think the '(expletive)' button got hit," Steamboat coach Dave Strang said about Steamboat's second-period surge.
After Doherty killed a 5-on-3 situation midway through the second, the Spartans quickly tied the score on Luke Babb's goal with 5:52 left in the period.
The Sailors responded-- as is customary this season when they fall behind or opponents tie the game.
Steamboat increased the offensive pressure on Doherty goalie Ryan Beland late in the second.
"The biggest thing is we were looking to get shots on net and get the rebounds," senior Jacob Pearson said.
Senior Jon Reese put in what turned out to be the game-winning goal on a perfect pass from senior linemate Sam Gary during a 2-on-1 fast break with four minutes left in the second period.
Gary waited until Doherty's defenseman and Beland committed before he dumped the puck off to Reese. The pass was timed so well that Reese had to shoot the puck then dive out of the way of the net before slamming into it. Jace Bonner also assisted on the play.
"When we skate the best is right after we score a goal," senior Alec Idoni said.
Steamboat added its third goal at the 2:16 mark when Pearson found the back of the net off assists from Jake Stanford and Michael Weston.
The same three teamed up on the game's final goal at the 1:43 mark, but this time, Stanford got the goal, and Pearson and Weston were given the assists.
"We worked it off the faceoff," Pearson said. "Weston got the shot off. I was standing there behind the net, and I must have touched it because I got the assist."
Doherty didn't have a chance to recover because it was forced to kill five penalties in the third period. Steamboat goalie Elliot Girard turned away eight shots during the game and did not see a shot in the final period.
Steamboat had a whooping 53 shots on goal, including 17 in the final period.
"I think we should have put more in," Idoni said. "We had 53 shots on net and only scored four goals."
Idoni scored one of the four goals on a slapshot from the blue line with 4:52 left in the first period. It was a power-play goal, and Stanford and Gunde Schrock were given assists.
Steamboat improved to 7-1 overall with the win and moved to 1-1 in the Foothills League. Doherty dropped to 2-8 overall and 0-2 in league play.
Steamboat wrapped up the week with a 2-1 record, having played three games in four days, including an emotional win against rival Battle Mountain on Wednesday. The Sailors also had three practices during the week, but they are off until a 4 p.m. game Friday against Air Academy at Sertich Arena in Colorado Springs.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org