If you go
What: Steamboat Springs High School hockey vs. Summit
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Dobson Arena, Vail
Steamboat Springs Driven by a strong desire to win its first state championship, the Steamboat Springs High School hockey team probably doesn’t need any extra motivation as it prepares for the playoffs.
But it got exactly that Sunday thanks to a perceived slight dealt by the Colorado High School Activities Association.
CHSAA slotted the Sailors as the No. 5 seed in the 16-team playoff bracket.
They will open their playoff run at 7 p.m. Friday in Vail, a pre-selected playoff site, against Summit High School.
“I thought we would come away with a little higher seed,” Steamboat coach
Jeff Ruff said. “With CHSAA, you know, they’re down there in Denver, and they always seem to favor those Front Range teams.”
Still, Ruff said, Steamboat (13-4-2) is confident heading into its playoff opener.
Friday’s game will be the second clash between the two teams. They played to a 3-3 tie Dec. 4.
Steamboat proved a little better through the rest of the season, even though that season ended on a sour note with a 3-1 home loss to Cheyenne Mountain on Saturday. Ruff said his team, wrapping up a stretch of six games in nine days, just ran out of gas.
He said that won’t be a problem after six days off before the game against Summit, which finished 12-5-2.
“We played them in the first game of the season and we’ve improved a lot,”Ruff said. “We weren’t confident in our scoring then. Our lines have changed, and our goaltenders have a lot more experience. The guys are really excited for this draw and to see Summit again.”