Steamboat’s Alex Elliott gets off a shot Saturday during a game in Steamboat Springs. The Sailors beat Summit, 2-1.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Steamboat’s Alex Elliott gets off a shot Saturday during a game in Steamboat Springs. The Sailors beat Summit, 2-1.

Steamboat hockey team rallies to win against Summit

Sailors' Conroy scores game-winner for a 2-1 victory against Summit

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— If luck can turn at any moment, a 31-second span of the third period of Saturday’s Steamboat Springs High School hockey game proved the point.

With the game tied at 1, Summit High School’s Evan Streit appeared to score the go-ahead goal on a breakaway. But the referees huddled and waved off the goal.

Just 31 seconds later, Steam­boat’s Blayne Conroy pounced on the puck in front of the net for the eventual game-winner and a 2-1 victory.

“They told me that the net was off,” Summit coach Chris Ruhly said about the explanation he got from the referees. “He confirmed with his other referees and said it was a no goal. But that’s not the reason we lost the game. Was it a goal, wasn’t it a goal — it is what it is. We have to battle harder down the stretch.”

Said Steamboat goaltender Erik Owen: “It was a breakaway, so I came out. He beat me, so I stuck my glove out for desperation and caught it. I didn’t think I was close to the line but I wasn’t sure. I was still shaken up.”

It was a fitting end to a peculiar game.

Momentum went back and forth throughout, with Steamboat controlling the first period but unable to get on the scoreboard. Summit dominated the second period, which saw a pair of weird goals.

Steamboat’s Jarret Walt scored the first goal on a rebound effort. Mason Bates took a long shot and Summit’s Andrew Dunlap appeared to make the save. But the puck slowly trickled out from his pads, and Walt was waiting to for it and gave Steamboat a 1-0 lead.

Just a minute later, Sum­mit got a break of its own. Skating up the right side, the Tigers’ Billy Grosshuesch attempted to center a pass that deflected off a Steamboat skate and into the net to tie the game.

Summit, after struggling in the first period, outshot Steamboat, 28-15, in the final two periods but never could get anything past Owen.

Owen made 32 saves in the game, many coming in a frantic final three minutes.

“I prefer a game with more shots than less shots,” Owen said. “It keeps my mind in it.”

With the win, Steamboat juts to the top of the Foothills Conference with a 7-1 record, including 4-0 in conference play.

Steamboat’s two wins this weekend — including Friday’s 3-2 victory against Monarch — weren’t the most convincing, but coach Jeff Ruff certainly will take them.

“We need to play three quality periods of hockey,” Ruff said. “We’re getting there. The end result is I’m glad we got the four points this weekend.”

Steamboat next plays at 6 p.m. Saturday at home against Pueblo County.

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