Puck drops in youth hockey tourney | SteamboatToday.com

Puck drops in youth hockey tourney

Luke Graham

— Steamboat Springs pee-wee hockey goalie Jack Lupori knew he was going to play well in the 11th annual Ski Town USA Hockey Festival.

“Well, I got to leave school early, and that helps a little,” Jack said after making 40 saves in Steamboat Springs’ 1-1 tie against the Greeley Renegades. “It’s more of a fun time to get to play in a game than doing a math problem.”

Jack seemed to have the right formula in goal all game. After shutting the Renegades out in the first period, he stopped four shots in a row before Lance Heisler snuck one over his left shoulder.

Steamboat struggled to mount any offense against the highly skilled Renegades team, but behind the strong play of Jack, the team pulled out a tie after capitalizing on a rare scoring opportunity.

With less than four minutes to go in the third period, Steamboat’s Andrew Farny put a puck on goal, and Jonathan Milne deflected it past the Renegades goalie.

Neither team mounted a scoring chance in the closing three minutes, and the horn sounded in a 1-1 tie.

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Steamboat Springs coach John Lupori was impressed with the Renegades’ passing and skating, but he said Steamboat’s determination kept the team in the game.

“I think the reason we hung with them is because we skated hard the whole game,” Lupori said. “We played our positions well and grinded it out.”

In other action Friday, the Steamboat Midget team fell to Craig, 3-2, and the Steamboat Bantam team defeated NCYH, 2-0.

The Ski Town USA Hockey Festival gives the youth programs a chance to play against some of the top teams in the state.

All three Steamboat teams are guaranteed four games, with the championship games scheduled for Sunday. Admission is free for spectators.

The pee-wee team plays today at 7:45 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.; the Bantams play at 11:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m.; and the Midgets play at 12:45 and 10:15 p.m.