Steamboat Springs There is no quit in Steamboat Springs High School hockey but protecting home ice for the first time this season didn’t go well the last couple of days for the Sailors.
Coming off an overtime loss to Columbine Friday night in Steamboat’s first game at Howelsen Ice Arena, the Sailors missed a chance to rebound Saturday afternoon and were downed, 3-0, to Cherry Creek at home.
“I think the boys have worked really hard at the start of the season,” Steamboat coach Brent Tollar said. “In this game, they didn’t quit or anything, but we just faced a team that’s pretty dang good.”
A scoreless first period for both sides turned into a 2-0 margin in favor of the Bruins heading into the final period. Cherry Creek tacked on another goal in the final set to improve to 5-1-1 on the season.
Bruins goalie Quinton Reynolds faced just 20 Steamboat shots, sealing all of them while Sailors goalie Trent Trask swallowed up 33 of the 36 Cherry Creek shots he faced.
The Sailors dropped to 4-3 heading into the winter break and a few days off for a team that played four games since last Saturday.
“We don’t want a break,” senior captain Ben Wharton said. “We just need a weekend to get our bodies right. This is the most tired we will be all season. The more we can do over break to stay in shape the better future practice will be.”
Wharton said the team is noticeably fatigued and that injuries have put a dent on bench play. As for dropping their opening two homes contests, the senior shrugged it off, saying there are plenty more games to come — nine to be exact at Howelsen.
“We knew these few games were going to be hard,” Wharton said. “I was a little disappointed, but we have a bunch more home games. We can’t dwell on these two.”
The pair of home losses dropped Steamboat just below the middle of the pack in the Foothills Conference standings after opening the year 4-1.
But Tollar said he doesn’t mind seeing his team reel a bit from the losses, because he said it shows they care and are eager to get back to their winning ways.
“My favorite thing about them is I know they feel disappointed,” Tollar said. “They really care about what’s going on with this team and their success. I don’t knock them at all. They are competitors, and they do strive to be better.”
Steamboat will be back in action on Jan. 3 in an out-of-conference home contest against 3-2 Pine Creek at 6:30 p.m.
To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll