Steamboat Springs A trio of Steamboat Springs girls hockey players helped a Colorado U16 team finish third during the weekend at the Tier 2 Girls National Championships in Anaheim, Calif.
Hannah Samlowski, Sara Stout and Megan Stabile were part of a Mountain States Girls Hockey League all-star team that advanced to the semifinals before losing to the eventual national champion Connecticut Polar Bears, 3-1.
The Mountain States team included girls from Telluride, Denver, Aspen, Steamboat and Albuquerque, N.M.
“Going into the team, I didn’t really know anybody until our absolute first game,” Samlowski said. “I didn’t know what to expect from the team even though we were all some of the better players in Colorado.”
The three made the team by trying out in June. But because of other commitments, the team was never able to get in a full practice. Still, the team played five games and had a pretty easy road to the national championships.
The team advanced straight to the districts, where it would have played teams from Texas, Arizona, Utah and Wyoming. But no teams from those areas declared, giving the team a direct path to the national championships.
There, the Mountain States squad beat the St. Louis Cyclones, 11-0, in the first game, with Stabile picking up a goal and three assists.
The team then beat the New Jersey Colonials, 3-1, with Stabile adding another goal and an assist. It next defeated New York-based Perinton Edge, 3-1.
In the quarterfinals, the Mountain States team outlasted Team Alaska, 3-2, in overtime, with Samlowski assisting on the game-winner.
“We were definitely the fastest team there,” Samlowski said. “We had better lungs.” Against Connecticut, the girls allowed two second-period goals, which proved to be the difference.
Stabile was the sixth-leading scorer in the tournament, registering three goals and five assists. Samlowski added an assist, while Stout didn’t tally any points.
“It was really fun to play on a team and do well,” Stabile said. “We weren’t expected to do anything, but we got our name out there.”
— To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com