Steamboat Springs A solid start and an even hotter finish Saturday afternoon has Steamboat Springs High School hockey suddenly on its longest winning streak of the season.
The Sailors jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first period against Mullen off a trio of scores from Matt Hale, Ben Wharton and freshman Jack McNamara. Steamboat then exploded early in the third period with three more goals to beat the winless Mustangs, 6-1.
“We came out really strong tonight,” Sailors coach Brent Tollar said. “We felt after last night’s game we kind of got away from what we were doing well. So, today our big emphasis was to come out as a team, work hard and win the races to the puck. It went pretty smoothly for us today.”
The win was Steamboat’s fourth straight — all of which have been against Foothills Conference opponents — and the Sailors now look like they’ve figured things out.
The win came less than 24 hours after Steamboat clinched a 3-1 win against Battle Mountain, a victory that Tollar said was a step back from the progress it had been making.
The Sailors’ last loss was against Foothills powerhouse Monarch on Jan. 6, a 6-0 blowout that had Steamboat on its heels at midseason.
“We had that rough game against Monarch, and since then our team chemistry and our team as a whole really grew from that,” Tollar said.
And as some players begin to show signs of wear and tear, Steamboat’s shortfalls are beginning to open doors for others to breakout.
“One of my favorite things is I’m seeing a player like Matt Hale really come into his own and creating a lot of great things,” Tollar said. “He had some beautiful passes.”
Hale finished the win with two goals and two assists. Also getting in on the scoring action was captain Jackson Perry, Anthony Disaverio and Dillon Chapman in the third period. Steamboat goalie Trent Trask finished with 20 saves.
Steamboat takes a break from Foothills play Friday against Palmer (5-6-1), but when the Sailors return to league play, things get serious.
The following day Steamboat will host Regis, the top team in the Foothills Conference at 12-1.
“I want them to enjoy the rest of their weekend, have fun and let them take it in,” Tollar said. “But a win streak is only as good as your next game.”
To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll