Chix defend Oktoberfest title | SteamboatToday.com

Chix defend Oktoberfest title

Local women's hockey team set to open season Nov. 6

For the Steamboat Today

The Chix with Stix women’s hockey team of Steamboat Springs is still more than three weeks away from the official start to its 18th season. But the ladies got off to a good start when they traveled to Breckenridge Sept. 18 to 20 and defended their B1 division Oktoberfest Women’s Hockey Tournament title.

Six teams competed in this year’s Oktoberfest B1 division tournament. The Chix kicked off the tourney with a win, defeating the Fort Collins Flames, 3-1. In their second game, the Chix skated past Vail Twin Peaks, 4-0.

New players Shannon Forbes and Amy Hill joined the Chix in Breckenridge. Quick to adjust to the Chix system, Hill and Forbes played like seasoned veterans on a line with Heidi Chapman-Hoy, contributing to multiple scoring opportunities in the two wins.

“Everyone looked good; everyone played with confidence,” Chix player Riley Polumbus said. “Our control and passing in the offensive zone was outstanding.”

The Chix and the Pueblo Little Caesars faced off in the third game, and both teams ented the match 2-0 in pool play. After a scoreless first period, the Chix netted two quick goals in the second en route to a 4-1 win, guaranteeing a spot in the B1 championship game. The other Chix offensive line of Melanie Nimtz, Polumbus and Sue Heineke provided an offensive spark in the Pueblo game, scoring 2 goals in one shift.

The Chix and Pueblo faced off again in the championship game. The Chix started the game strong, scoring 3 goals in the first period. When Pueblo tried to counter, the Chix defense of Megan Palmer, Jen Travis, Lee Cox, Julia Wallace and Lisa Owen shut them down. The Chix took the game and the championship 4-0.

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Regular Chix goalie Nikki Knoebel was unable to make the tourney because of work conflicts. The Chix picked up a veteran keeper for the tournament in Synergy goalie Amie Robert. Robert was strong in net, saving 48 of the 50 shots that crossed her path in the four games. The Chix scored first and outshot their opponents in every game.

“We used to be very proud if we set up a play in our offensive zone,” Heineke said. “Now we set up on every possession, it’s just so natural.”

The Chix with Stix, coached by Tim Shorland, open their 18th season with the team’s first home games Nov. 6 and 7 at Howelsen Ice Arena.