The Steamboat Springs High School boys hockey team lines up to shake hands with their opponents after the Sailors defeated Doherty High School Friday night. Doherty left the ice without shaking hands with the Sailors.

Photo by Matt Stensland

The Steamboat Springs High School boys hockey team lines up to shake hands with their opponents after the Sailors defeated Doherty High School Friday night. Doherty left the ice without shaking hands with the Sailors.

Steamboat Springs hockey team overcomes early hole to win

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Steamboat Springs Hockey, 2008-09

There was plenty of reason for the Steamboat Springs High School hockey team to be frustrated early in its Friday night game against Doherty.

The Sailors blasted powerful shot after powerful shot toward the Spartans' net and continually missed high or wide. Those misses were attempts to match Doherty's first goal of the game, a lightning-quick strike to take the lead less than a minute into the first period.

Steamboat finally found a way to connect; however, and by game's end, it was the Spartans who were venting their frustration. They initiated a pair of brawls in the closing minutes as Steamboat skated away with the 4-1 victory safely in hand.

"Our response to their first goal was excellent. After that, we picked up our intensity level, and we controlled the pace of the game," Steamboat coach Jeff Ruff said. "I am real happy with the way the game turned out."

Senior Gus Worden led the Sailors with two goals, including his second-period shot from the wing that put Steamboat on top for good.

Before that, Doherty took the early lead when sophomore Braden Johnson caught the Steamboat defense and goalie Matt Dawes off balance.

"They caught me off guard, and I was behind a screen," Dawes said. "We got a laugh out of it. That happens sometimes, but you have to put it behind you and come back."

He and his team found plenty of ways to respond. The Sailors answered midway through the first period. Steamboat junior Jon Winkelblech flipped a Grant Ehrick shot over the defense and into the goal.

Worden then started the scoring in the second with his go-ahead score.

"I was actually trying to pass," Worden said. "I was trying to get it to Grant McCannon, but their guy laid out and the puck just went in past him. We got lucky."

Doherty's chippy nature came to a head late in the game. A fight broke out after a check as players scrambled for a loose puck. Another fight followed as Steamboat skated off the ice after the final whistle.

That same attitude cost Doherty throughout the night.

Winkelblech's goal came on a power play, as did Steamboat's fourth, an easy shot Worden tapped in during the waning moments.

The Sailors applied pressure throughout the game as Doherty struggled to keep a full squad on the ice.

After the first goal, the Spartans' only offensive threats came early in the second period. Steamboat played a man down for five minutes, but Dawes made three strong saves. The Sailors were right back on the offensive after returning to full power.

Ehrick scored after Worden's first to give Steamboat a safe 3-1 lead heading into the final period.

"We knew we could come back," Worden said. "We came in playing hard, and we really wanted to win. We settled down and played better."

Steamboat, 8-2, returns to the ice Monday for a game at Battle Mountain.

- To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 871-4253 or e-mail jreichenberger@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

localboy17 5 years, 8 months ago

CHSAA should do something about Doherty's coaching. Bad sports shouldn't be welcome in high school sports regardless of a fight after the final whistle or not. I think the coaches from Doherty failed their players and their team by letting them off the ice without a hand shake.

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dave mcirvin 5 years, 8 months ago

I've never seen a high school game erupt so out of control. The referee is at fault for letting it all get away. He never called the captains and coaches out for a warning/conference early on when the action was becoming chippy. Not one player was ever ejected from the game. The Dougherty coaches appeared to have lil' desire to temper their players aggression and direct it towards clean, hard game when they were being badly outplayed and outhustled. Taunting the home crowd was incredibly bush league and will reflect badly on the Colorado Springs based team. Suspensions are clearly in order.

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