The 2013 Mountain States Girls Hockey League playoffs concluded Sunday in Littleton without representation from any Steamboat Springs teams in the championship matches for the first time in recent memory. It came down to a lot of waiting and what-if scenarios for the U-14 and U-12 teams to know whether they were going to have a shot at the title.
U-12 team just misses mark
The U-12 team woke up Sunday morning with a 1-1-1 record and 3 points, having lost to eventual champion Aspen, 4-0, earlier in the tournament, tying Gunnison, 2-2, and beating Vail, 3-2. The girls controlled their own destiny, and a five-goal victory over Summit would punch their ticket to the finals. After a flurry of late activity, including two shots that deflected off the post, Steamboat beat Summit 4-0, falling just shy of its goal. Steamboat defender Jensen Kavanaugh led the squad with five goals in the tournament and was named to the MSGHL All-League Team.
U-14 team falls just short
The tightest division in the tournament belonged to the U-14s. Nine of 13 games were ties or decided by one goal. And only one game the entire weekend was decided by more than two goals. Steamboat’s U-14 team opened the tournament with a 1-0 loss against Santa Fe. The girls proceeded to notch a pair of wins over Durango (1-0) and Aspen (2-0), and a 1-1 tie vs. Arvada. The five points they garnered put them into a tie for the second seed in the tournament. Despite a defense that allowed only two goals in four games, Steamboat needed a victory by eventual champion Santa Fe against Arvada to win the tie-break scenarios and earn a place in the championship game. Arvada snuck a goal in midway through the third period and held on to squash Steamboat’s chances. Steamboat goaltender Tanner Stover led all goaltenders in all divisions with a .973 save percentage.
U-19 girls eliminated early
The defending champion U-19 squad from Steamboat lost its first three games of the tournament, resulting in its elimination by Saturday afternoon. The girls did play the role of spoiler, however, by winning their fourth game, 6-2, over the Jr. Eagles from Lakewood. This kept the Jr. Eagles from advancing to the championship game, where Gunnison topped Aspen for the title. Steamboat’s U-19 squad was paced by Olivia Gorr’s 11 points (six goals and five assists). Gorr and defender Hannah Samlowski also were recognized by coaches around the league by being named to the MSGHL All-League Team.