Photo by Joel Reichenberger
Steamboat’s Matthew Theielemann tangles with an Arapahoe defender on Sunday during the Pee Wee A championship of the Ski Town Classic at Howelsen Ice Arena in Steamboat Springs. Steamboat won the match up, 2-1.
Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Pee Wee A boys hockey team braced for the hurricane it knew was coming.
Arapahoe, which faced off against Steamboat in the championship game of the weekend’s Ski Town Classic hockey tournament at Howelsen Ice Arena in Steamboat Springs, pulled its goalie and a wave of blue-clad players screamed down the ice, desperate for a goal.
“I was worried,” Steamboat goalie Kyle “Max” Vollmer said. “I was really getting peppered.”
There was one close call, the puck bouncing off the top of Vollmer’s stick and free for a moment, but the defense held and the clock expired, the Steamboat players champions of their division thanks to a 2-1 title-game victory.
“It was fun. I really enjoyed it,” Vollmer said. “I’m glad we got this far, and I’m glad we won.”
Bryce Sullivan scored two goals as Steamboat’s Pee Wee team wrapped up a long but successful weekend.
Jordan Gorr assisted on both of Sullivan’s goals, and Chris Kaminski assisted on one.
They were joined in a high finish Sunday by Steamboat’s Bantam A squad, which played in the championship but lost, 2-0, to Littleton Black.
Steamboat Pee Wee coach Blair McNamara said Sunday’s success was all about Howelsen Ice Arena, which played host to more than 35 hours of hockey in a wild weekend.
He said his team’s hard work in practices before the tournament paid off, and that the large crowd of cheering fans during the tournament brought out his players’ best.
“It was great. This tournament here, it epitomizes what hockey’s all about,” McNamara said. “We’ve had enthusiastic fans and the kids really seemed to bring their best to play in front of the hometown crowd.”
The Bantam A team ended up down two goals, but still managed to lose in heartbreaking fashion. The team lost its captain, Erik Sobeck, in the first period, but strong goaltending, both by Littleton and by Steamboat’s Trent Trask, kept the game scoreless deep into the third period.
The teams met earlier in the weekend during the round-robin portion of the tournament and played to a 1-1 tie. Littleton finally earned an advantage in the rivalry with a goal with five minutes remaining in the final period. The team tacked on another one inside the final minute after Steamboat had pulled its goalie.
“It was a back and forth, hard game. They’re a good team and we wore down a little bit,” Bantam A coach Bob Milne said. “We had a lot of opportunities. It was just a well-played game on both sides. We match up well.”
Steamboat’s final competing team on the weekend finished 0-4 in the Bantam B division. The Northern Colorado Youth Hockey squad, from the Fort Collins area, won that division, defeating Littleton Red in the championship.
Ski Town Classic hockey tournament
Howelsen Ice Arena
CSAHA Bantam A Allstars 0, DU Bantam A 4
Vail/Eagle 3, Foothills Bantam A 1
Summit 8, Steamboat 2
Littleton PeeWee A Black 2, Foothills PeeWee A 1
Steamboat 2, Arap PW A Maize 1
Bantam B championship
Littleton Bantam B Red 0, NCYH Bantam B 2
Bantam A championship
Littleton Ban A Black 2, Steamboat 0