Steamboat Springs High School hockey highlights from their Jan. 4 game against Mitchell. Steamboat won 5-1.
Steamboat Springs It took all of 65 seconds Friday night for the Steamboat Springs High School hockey team to shake off the holiday break and its 1-4 start to the season.
Playing its first league game of the year against Mitchell, Steamboat came out fast and never hit a prolonged lull in the team's 5-1 victory.
Cody Fritz scored from just inside the right circle 1 minute and 5 seconds into the game, and Charlie Smith added a second tally just a minute later to give Steamboat an early 2-0 lead.
"In terms of the game as a whole, it was the start we wanted," said Steamboat coach Jeff Ruff, whose team outshot Mitchell 36-11 on the night. "We got scoring from all four lines : and that's what we're looking for is to get scoring throughout our ranks."
Eight different players picked up at least one point, led by the play and hustle of Fritz. The junior scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Sailors.
"I struggled at the beginning of the year, but now I'm getting back into my groove," Fritz said. "I've just got to keep pushing. It was amazing to get off to that fast start."
After taking a 2-0 lead in the first period, Steamboat played perhaps its best hockey of the year in the second. The Sailors peppered the net with 18 shots and controlled the pace of play, not allowing the Marauders a shot for the last 14:12 of the period.
Despite the chances, Steamboat came away with only one goal in the period. That power-play goal came off the stick of Jake Bearss at the 11:38 mark of the second period to give Steamboat a 3-0 lead.
In the third period, Tim Rabbitt and Fritz had bookend goals around Mitchell's lone tally of the night.
Rabbitt scored his goal on a deflection in front of the net, while Fritz snuck one over the shoulder of Mitchell goalie Michael Montoya to give Steamboat a 5-1 lead.
While the win was nice, the Sailors have little time to celebrate.
Steamboat matches up with Cheyenne Mountain - the most storied high school hockey program in Colorado - at 3 p.m. today at Howelsen Ice Arena.
"I think we're going to find they're going to be fast and a lot bigger than" Mitchell, Ruff said. "It will be a physical contest, but I feel strongly that we'll do well with this team."
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