Steamboat hockey falls in Chatfield

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— The road to the postseason just got a little tougher for the Steamboat Springs High School hockey team.

Needing all the wins and points it can get, Steamboat stumbled Friday in Chatfield, falling 7-1.

The Sailors had gone 6-0-1 in its previous seven games and hadn’t suffered a loss since Jan. 7. With Friday’s loss, the Sailors fell into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Foothills Conference.

“When you’re playing a team just as hungry to get into the playoffs and find a higher playoff seed, there is certain amount of urgency,” Steamboat coach Jeff Ruff said. “We had opportunities.”

Chatfield took an early 1-0 lead on a power play goal and then poured it on in the second period to rout Steamboat.

Chatfield bookended a pair of goals in the second period around a John Wharton shorthanded goal to make it 5-1 going into the third period. The Chargers added two more goals in the third for the end result.

Steamboat plays what amounts to a must-win game Saturday at 4:45 p.m. at Monarch. Monarch is fifth in the conference.

“It’s absolutely a must win,” Ruff said. “We told them regrouping is almost harder than the game itself. They were disappointed with the score and the loss.”

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