Chix with Stix host final home games in Steamboat

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The Steamboat Chix with Stix women’s hockey team played outside its division during the past three games, sweeping the Denver Synergy on Feb. 19 and 20 and losing to the Vail Breakaways in overtime Friday.

The Chix play in the B1 Division, which is a step below the A2 Division in which both opponents play. All three games were in Steamboat Springs.

Chix forward Sue Heineke scored the Vail game’s first goal in the third period off an assist from Val Dietrich. Vail’s Karissa Keltner answered less than four minutes later to tie the game. Molly Vitt from Vail scored one minute into overtime for the win.

The two teams were evenly matched; both took 23 shots during the game. Without a score until the third period, it was the goaltenders who made the difference. Chix goalie Nikki Knoebel made several big saves, including one on a one-on-one breakaway.

“She kept us in the game,” Chix assistant captain Heidi Chapman-Hoy said.

The Chix have scored 77 goals and only allowed 15 in this season. Considering that most games have been played in the offensive zone, the Chix’s defensive play against Vail demonstrates the team’s readiness for the final challenges to come.

Traditionally, the Chix play up a division in preparation for their tournament, which will be March 26 to 28 in Denver. However, the Chix will host division foe DWHL Renegades on Friday and Saturday.

Friday’s game is set for 9 p.m. The teams will play again at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Saturday’s game is the annual fan/sponsor appreciation game. Coffee, juice and a continental breakfast will be provided.

The Chix are 7-1-1 in their division and 13-2-2 overall. They are sitting in second place in the B1 Division, losing to only the Northern Colorado Comets, who they will face in the opening game of the WACH B1 Division tournament March 26.

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