Steamboat Springs Each side had opportunities and each time, Lewis-Palmer goaltender Brent Schwarz and Steamboat netminder Erik Owen turned them away.
But in the end of Saturday’s second round state playoff game in Colorado Springs between fourth-seeded Steamboat and No. 1 Lewis-Palmer, it was the Rangers’ Jordy Fleming who found the net late in overtime, netting a power play goal to give Lewis-Palmer a 2-1 win.
“There were a lot of opportunities on both ends,” Steamboat coach Jeff Ruff said. “Both their goaltender and Erik were the stars of the game. They each made big saves when they needed to.”
Schwarz made 35 saves while Owen stopped 37 of the 39 shots he saw.
After a scoreless first period, the Rangers took advantage of playing at home in the second. Lewis-Palmer dumped the puck into the Steamboat zone. The puck hit the boards and was on a trajectory to go into the corner, but instead took a weird bounce right in front of Owen.
Fleming pounced on it and gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead.
The score remained tied until midway through the third period, when Alex Elliott found Blayne Conroy for the equalizer.
The two teams traded key opportunities in the overtime period, before Steamboat’s John Wharton took a slashing penalty.
The Rangers recorded a power play goal with 4 minutes, 33 seconds left in the overtime period.
“It was a really good goal,” Ruff said. “It was a sad ending to the game. I told the guys, ‘You’ll be sad and it hurts and stings but you should be proud of your effort in this game.’”
Steamboat Springs High School hockey ends its season at 14-6.
— To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@SteamboatToday.com