Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs High School hockey team hit about every possible emotion Friday night as it played its home opener against Columbine.
The Sailors were thrilled as they protected a one-goal lead into the third period. They were nervous as Columbine tied the game, then narrowly missed on several chances to get ahead. They were anxious as Steamboat’s own late-game charge didn’t result in the winning score, and finally, they were disappointed.
Columbine scored late in an overtime period to skate out of Steamboat on Friday night with a 2-1 victory.
“Everyone’s a little upset about it, but it was an overtime game and we all worked hard,” Steamboat captain Quinn Cain said. “We need to move on to the next game and use this as fuel.”
The loss, against the state’s No. 4 team, dropped Steamboat to 4-2 on the season heading into Saturday's 1 p.m. home game against Cherry Creek.
Steamboat got a first-period score from Bobby Elliott, then Trent Trask and the Sailors defense maintained that gap into the third period, getting the best — barely — of the gritty, contentious flow of the game.
Jacob Seibold broke through for Columbine less than two minutes into the third period, however, pumping his arm and waving at a raucous crowd filled with Steamboat students as he celebrated.
Then he did it again, scoring 5 minutes, 53 seconds into an overtime period to put the game away. There wasn’t an immediate reaction — all around the net seemed to pause for moment, unsure if a goal had been scored or not. But a second later he was celebrating again, this time with his teammates, who streamed onto the ice to join him.
“We finally got on a power play and got something going toward the front of the net,” Columbine coach Chris Gassman said. “We were telling the kids all night to throwing something at the net, and finally it was sitting there. It paid off for them tonight.”
Columbine nearly followed its first goal up with a second, which would have prevented the need for the overtime period. A pair of Steamboat penalties gave the Rebels an extended power play. The Sailors held on, then had their own short stretch of dominance, challenging Columbine up until the end of regulation as goalie Ashton Opperman came up with big saves when it mattered most.
“I thought we played a pretty good game,” Steamboat coach Brent Tollar said. “We just weren’t able to finish it off.”
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9
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