Offense-minded Steamboat hockey downs Aspen Skiers
December 14, 2011
Aspen — In the minutes after Tuesday's game in Aspen, Steamboat Springs coach Jeff Ruff offered a succinct critique of his team's performance.
"We made too many small mistakes for my taste," he said.
Two numbers likely made the experience a little more palatable, however: 40 shots on net and seven goals. Those figures translated into a lopsided Sailors win.
Steamboat (3-3) erupted for three goals in the final six minutes of the first period and three more in the early stages of the third to quash the Skiers' momentum and secure a 7-4 victory.
"Overall, you're always happy with a win," Ruff said. "We just have to take care of the puck a little better in our zone. Then, I'll be more happy."
The Skiers (2-2) likely share that sentiment. Aspen's back line was stout in back-to-back shutouts of Battle Mountain and Doherty last week. On Tuesday, a slew of defensive breakdowns proved costly against opportunistic Steamboat.
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John Wharton broke a scoreless tie about 11 minutes into the opening period when he slipped a shot past Aspen goaltender Patrick Severy. A little more than one minute later, Christian Ramirez added to the score.
Boris Lindeneau gave Aspen life two minutes later when he beat a defender to a loose puck up the boards and skated in for an unassisted goal. Teammate Beau Cameron was whistled for high sticking in the final minute of the period, and the Sailors capitalized on their man-up advantage with Lance Ostrom converting from close range.
"I'm happy with how the guys came out and set the tempo for the game," Ruff said. "I think we made Aspen play to our speed a little bit."
Aspen pulled to within one on Garrett Goldsmith's powerful strike two minutes into the second period, but Ostrom connected on another power play goal six minutes later.
Wharton likely put the game out of reach early in the final period with a shorthanded score, stretching the lead to 5-2.
Matt Hale scored twice more for good measure, and the Sailors never were threatened down the stretch.