Steamboat hockey edges past Battle Mountain, 2-1

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— Power play? No. Tip drill? Yes.

Steamboat Springs executed the latter to perception as Dillon Chapman got his stick on teammate Ryan Walker’s shot with 10:15 left in regulation to lift the Sailors to a hard-earned 2-1 win against Battle Mountain on Friday night at Dobson Arena in Vail.

“It’s funny. The last couple of weeks, we’ve been getting a lot of shots on net,” Steamboat coach Brent Tollar said. “We haven’t been able to finish them. We’ve spent a majority of our practices, trying to get a quality shot with a good tip.”

Chapman’s tip gave the Sailors a two-game winning streak and raised their record to 5-4-1 overall and 2-3-1 in the Foothills Conference.

“I was out in front. There was a defender in front of me, and I kind of pushed him away,” Chapman said. “It hit off my stick, and it was behind me and in the net. It’s great. It gives you a lot of energy and excitement, especially because it lets you know that you’ve contributed to your team.”

And Huskies goalie Oliver Elvenger, who had 32 saves, had no chance.

Back in November, the Sailors did pretty much everything they wanted in an 8-2 victory against Battle Mountain in the season opener for both teams. Although it wasn’t a win, Friday night’s game was definite progress for the Huskies (3-5-1, 1-3).

“We’re getting there,” Huskies coach Gary Defina said. “We’re improving. We’re still young. It’s like two (steps) forward, one back, but it was a much better effort than when we played them the first time, no doubt.”

Battle Mountain started things off in the rematch. After a couple of good shifts, the Huskies capitalized when Karl Norris got behind the Sailors’ net and tethered it to Ben Hymes, whose shot was blocked by goalie Jesse Draper.

Cole Caynoski, however, slammed the puck home for a 1-0 lead with 9:23 left in the first period.

Steamboat replied late in the first stanza. Huskies keeper Elvenger stopped the Sailors Jordan Gorr once but not twice at the 1:25 mark.

Elvenger, however, saved the Huskies’ bacon in the second period, somehow stopping a Steambaoat Springs-3-on-0 break.

Both teams had their problems in the second period. Battle Mountain could not establish possession with its passing, while Steamboat squandered two power-play opportunities in that period.

Steamboat was 0 for 5 on the man advantage, something they’ll need to fix, especially with Kent Denver coming to town Saturday at 3 p.m.

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