Striking the Terrors

Steamboat hockey downs Palmer, 6-2

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— The Steamboat Sailors hockey team needed to rekindle the fire after last weekend.

"We were kind of depressed thinking about two losses at home," Sailors winger Jim Terry said. "I thought I'd make sure we would man up for tonight. And it wasn't just one or two guys, but everyone was on fire. That was our motto for the whole game."

Steamboat downed Palmer 6-2 to stop a two-game losing skid.

The Terrors came out looking to set the tempo. Palmer's Chris Barrette and Chris Crowell made steals that led to breakaways. But Sailor goalie Matt Dawes picked up saves to keep the game scoreless.

Steamboat got its first goal on a power play opportunity with a low shot by Matthew Lettunich.

Less than 30 seconds later, the Sailors added another goal when Billy Taylor sent Jake Stanford a clean centering pass that he knocked in.

The second period began with another quick pair of Steamboat goals. Greg Ingalls found Stanford streaking on the opening faceoff and then less than a minute later, Cam Fritz found the same hole on Palmer goalkeeper James Landsness' stick side.

Then things got a little ugly.

After a first period with a single penalty, the second frame saw 11 infractions. The Sailors had five straight.

On Palmer's second two-man power play, forward Josh Popovich slid a wrist shot past Dawes' glove.

The Sailors converted a pair of their own power plays - one on a nice backhand goal rebounded by Cody Fritz and another on a messy loose puck that slid under Landsness, credited to Ingalls.

"You put pressure on yourself when you need composure," Palmer coach Bob Davidson said. "(The players) get upset and then (the coaches) get upset. It's the composure thing - we lost it and paid the consequences when we needed to play smart hockey."

The physical play increased in the final period, with a couple on-ice scuffles and coincidental minors against both teams.

"They were pretty violent," Terry said. "You couldn't get a pass off without feeling someone on your back."

Steamboat killed two Palmer power plays and then gave up a short-handed goal on a breakaway from Palmer forward Josh Richards.

Sailors coach Jeff Ruff said he was a little displeased with the third period play, but was proud to see work in practice carry over to the game. He hoped his team could carry their momentum into what "should be a good contest," at 1:15 p.m. today against Air Academy.

"We knew we had to come out strong and challenge them to rise to the occasion," Ruff said. "Let's start that fire burning."

- To reach Dave Shively, call 871-4253

or e-mail dshively@steamboatpilot.com

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