Steamboat Springs David LaPointe’s goal 59 seconds into overtime Sunday afternoon helped the Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey Association’s Squirt B team win the University of Denver Squirts B Celebration Tournament in Denver.
The Steamboat team topped Arapahoe and Denver University and tied Littleton Black in the round-robin portion of the tournament to advance to the championships, where they got another shot at the host DU team. Steamboat had shut out DU, 5-0, in the round-robin portion, so it skated into the championship contest with confidence.
But the title game was a back-and-forth battle that ended in a 1-1 tie. Denver University scored first in the second period, but Steamboat’s Nick Kocik tied the game that same period. The two teams were scoreless in the third, forcing a 4-on-4, sudden-death overtime period.
In overtime, Steamboat’s Fischer Matthews dumped the puck past the DU defense to a racing LaPointe. LaPointe gathered the puck in front of the net and fired a shot past the goalie for the game-winning goal.
“It was very exciting,” assistant coach Greg Kmetz said. “David was able to go top-shelf to beat the goalie and win the game.”
Kmetz is part of a team of coaches including head coach K.C. Kelley and fellow assistants Bill Eck and Kevin Borgerding.
“It was a big win not only for our team, but for our hockey association,” Kelley said. “We are a pretty small association, so for us to go down to Denver and compete like this says a lot.”
“We have not lost to a Front Range team, which is huge,” Kmetz said. “Our team is really starting to come together, and they are playing their best hockey of the season.”
Steamboat is 10-2 in league play and just one game behind Vail in the standings.