Hockey loses on the road to Cheyenne Mountain, 3-2

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Steamboat Springs Hockey, 2008-09

The Steamboat Springs High School hockey team couldn't overcome penalties and two inopportune turnovers on Friday, as the team fell on the road to Cheyenne Mountain, 3-2.

"Again, Cheyenne Mountain is tough to overcome," Steamboat coach Jeff Ruff said. "They are a proud team. I think we had good quality opportunities at their net; we just couldn't capitalize."

Steamboat fell behind early when Cheyenne Mountain's Trentt Houghton scored midway through the first period, after a Sailors turnover gave him a breakaway.

The Sailors bounced back in the second, getting a pair of power play goals from Ian Anderson and Cody Fritz to take a 2-1 lead.

But Houghton responded again late in the second period with a 5-on-3 power play tally of his own that made it 2-2 heading into the third period.

After the two teams skated scoreless for almost 14 minutes of the third period, Cheyenne Mountain's Joey Johnson scored the game-winning, short-handed goal. The goal again came on a Steamboat turnover in the neutral zone that led to another breakaway.

"We allowed two real bad turnovers, which we can't give up to allow a breakaway," Ruff said. "We also took too many penalties, especially in the third period. We out-competed them when we played five on five."

The loss drops Steamboat to 12-4 overall. The team resumes play at 1:15 p.m. today at Coronado. Ruff said the team has to refocus its efforts into the final three regular season games.

While Coronado comes into the game 2-13 overall, Steamboat finishes the season with tough home games against Pine Creek and Palmer.

Ruff said every game from here until the start of the playoffs becomes a must-win.

"We did out-compete that team for a lot of the game. We just have to clean up a couple costly errors," Ruff said. "We'll regroup. We have to be hungrier around the net. We have to learn that stuff for these games down the stretch."

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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