Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs Peewee A team's journey into the Colorado Amateur Hockey Association playoffs ended Sunday in a disappointing 7-1 loss to the Mountain States Renegades. To reach the championship game, Steamboat had to defeat a Denver University club that won the CCYHL playoffs the week before.
The 3-1 semifinal victory was punctuated by the play of goaltender Thomas Tarcha, who stopped 16 shots. Tarcha was supported by goals from Andrew Farney, Ben Wharton and Ryan Cagnoni. Coach Bob Milne was happy with the win and the statement the game provided.
"We matched up well with them," Milne said. "It was an exciting game and we were never behind, which is rare in a tournament. The DU coach was surprised. He said to me he didn't expect us to be that good."
The state finals saw Steamboat face a Renegades team for the fifth time in three weeks. After recording lopsided losses the first three games, a strategy change by the Steamboat coaches helped the team be more competitive in a 4-3 loss in the CDYHL league finals March 9.
The Renegades came out firing early, outshooting Steamboat 28-8. Two early goals set the tone, but Steamboat tried to steal some momentum. Patrick Milne netted what was thought to be a goal to cut the lead to 2-1. The officials determined that Milne had purposely kicked the puck into the net and disallowed the goal. The Renegades went on to take a 7-0 lead until Christian Ramirez netted a power play goal late in the third period.
"Our program is a little different," Milne said. "They have 10 skaters, and we have 15. Of those 10 they had, two are first-year peewee players, and we have nine. Think about that young squad playing 41 games this year. A program like ours should be proud to get a team to the state championship game."
The team ended up with a 25-11-4 record.
The U-19 girls also lost their bid in the MSGHL girls state finals, falling to Gunnison 3-1. Annie Eggelston tallied Steamboat's only goal early in the third period but couldn't find enough fire power to overcome Gunnison's Hannah Tredway, who scored all three goals.