Steamboat Springs Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct Marley Loomis’ name.
Faced with a huge challenge to open its season, Steamboat’s U19 girls hockey team met it in winning style during the weekend at the Aspen Fall Face Off tournament.
Steamboat lost once, falling, 1-0, at Aspen, but played the Aspen Mother Puckers team to a scoreless tie, then in a rematch of the first game beat Aspen, 4-1, to win the small tournament.
“It was a great, winning weekend for the girls,” coach Kent Foster said. “The girls had fun, and they ended up going home with the trophy.”
It didn’t seem like Steamboat would be going home with anything but bruises one period into its clash with the Mother Puckers. That adult team opted to stay and play in the tournament after other teams backed out. The three teams — Aspen, the Puckers and Steamboat — agreed to play a round-robin format, then a championship game.
Steamboat lost its first game of the season, that 1-0 game against Aspen, and seemed on its way to a second loss. The Puckers outshot Steamboat, 13-3, in the first period and controlled the game with their speed, aggressiveness and experience. Goalie Tanner Stover didn’t flinch, however. She finished the game with 28 saves.
“She stole the game,” Foster said.
Steamboat began to play with the Puckers, some of whom had college hockey experience, as the game wore on and the final two periods were much more even.
“The girls hadn’t played at that speed or level before, but they started getting into it,” Foster said. “Then the intensity and emotion carried over into the next game.”
Indeed. After losing, 1-0, the day before, Steamboat roared right by Aspen on Sunday in the tournament’s final game. Sara Stout scored first, then Sage Sullivan scored. Quincy Pugh got one with a backhand shot, and Marley Loomis put the game on ice, scoring into an open net in the final minute.
“It really was a great learning weekend for the girls,” Foster said. “Some of our girls haven’t been on teams that have won tournaments and had a lot of success, so this was the beginning of what will be another great season of learning and coming together as a team.”
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9
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