Hockey, boys hoops earn home playoff games | SteamboatToday.com

Hockey, boys hoops earn home playoff games

— Steamboat Springs High School sports fans better clear their calendar for Wednesday.

The playoff brackets for both high school basketball and hockey were released Sunday, and the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball and hockey teams will begin their postseason play at home, and both will play Wednesday evening.

The boys basketball team will play at 5 p.m. at Steamboat Springs High School, while the hockey team will take on Rampart at 6:15 p.m. at Howelsen Ice Arena.

The hockey team, which finished its regular season 13-4-2 and alone in second place in the Pinnacle division, earned the No. 11 seed in the 24-team field. The squad's round-one opponent, Rampart, is seeded No. 22.

The Rams have a record of 5-9-0 and finished fifth in the Highlands Conference.

The two teams share four common opponents. 
Both beat Mullen — Steamboat once, 9-1, and Rampart twice, 8-2, and 4-3. Steamboat then beat Air Academy and Liberty twice where Rampart lost to both. The Sailors also won a game and tied another against Kent Denver, which beat Rampart, 6-1.

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A win would advance Steamboat to play on the road Friday against No. 6 Fort Collins, which beat the Sailors twice this season en route to winning the Pinnacle league.

"Be careful what you wish for, but this is pretty much the bracket we were hoping for," Steamboat coach Ernie Thiel said.

He said his team is eager for a third shot at Fort Collins.

The Sailors lost against the Lambkins earlier this month 4-2 but have won their three games since. They wrapped up their regular season on Friday with a 5-0 home win against Summit.

"I really feel we can beat them," Thiel said of Fort Collins. "There are no freebies out there, for sure, but the way our kids are playing now, the way they played this weekend, I think we're primed to make this run. The kids are super hungry for a shot at Fort Collins. They'll do anything to get through Rampart and get there."

Boys basketball draws Windsor

The Steamboat boys basketball team earned the No. 31 seed in the 48-team Class 4A tournament. They'll play at home against Windsor, 11-12 on the season and 9-5 in the Tri-Valley league, where the Wizards placed third.

Steamboat finished its regular season 12-11 and first in the Western Slope League, recovering to win six-consecutive games to close league play after a 2-4 start there.

The teams didn't have any common opponents this season.

The Wizards were led in the stat book by junior Kirk Relford, a 3-point threat who averaged 14 points per game, and senior Jake Hammond, who averaged 13.9.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9