Sailors heat up ice in Summit; basketball teams close out regular season | SteamboatToday.com

Sailors heat up ice in Summit; basketball teams close out regular season

Steamboat’s David LaPointe scored two goals in the Sailors 8-3 win over Summit in the final regular season game. The team is waiting to find out when, and where they will play when the post-season begins next week.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Sailors hockey team ended a two-game slide Tuesday night with an  8-3 win over Summit on the road.

"It was definitely a plus," head coach Ernie Thiel said. "… it was a good way to finish the regular season, and we will see if we can get our players pumped up for the playoffs."

Summit kept things close in the first, but Steamboat got goals from Dakota Kenyon and another one from David LaPoint to make the score 2-2 after the first period.

"We mixed up the lines for last night's game against Summit, and we found some chemistry in some places we were not really expecting, which was good," Thiel said. "Our players performed admirably and played a rock solid game all the way through."

That chemistry exploded in the second period as the Sailors got goals from Quinn Morton and Curtis Maltby less than a minute apart and another from LaPointe to close out the period. Summit added another goal to make the score 5-3 after two periods.

But that was as close at the game would get as Kenyon, Morton and Sean Sullivan scored in the final period to make the final 8-3.

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Thiel was thrilled with the way his team rebounded after a disappointing performance on the Front Range last weekend, where the Sailors lost games to Standley Lake and Fort Collins without Sailors star defender Matt Kempers. The coach said that loss will likely give Fort Collins first place in the Pinnacle League and a slightly better seed in the playoffs.

"I'm pretty sure we are going to be second," Thiel said. "Everybody is tired, and they lack focus right now. We have been going at it pretty hard the whole season, and I think this last weekend was the culmination of being tired and what you would expect this time of the season from teenagers."

Thiel is still hoping for a home playoff game when the brackets come out Monday afternoon.

"We could have a playoff game as early as Tuesday, or we could have one the following Friday," Thiel said. "But I'm looking at it right now, and if we finish anywhere near where we are at, I have a hard time believing that we are going to be playing before a week from Friday. Most likely at the end of Blues Break.”

Sailors basketball closes out regular season, honor senior

Members of the Steamboat Springs High School boys basketball team outscored the Bears 21-10 in the final quarter of Tuesday night's game in Rifle to improve to 8-3 in the Western Slope League tightening the team's grip on second place.

The Sailors topped the Bears, 48-45, and now hold a game-and-a-half lead over Battle Mountain, who is 6-4 with two games remaining. If the Sailors defeat Summit (3-8) in Thursday's home finale, Steamboat will finish in second in the league, three games behind Glenwood Springs.

"We won," Steamboat coach Michael Vandahl said. "It turned out to be a close game, a lot closer than we expected."

Rifle took a 15-13 lead after the first quarter and held a 28-19 advantage at the half. Steamboat closed the gap to eight points at the end of the third and then outscored Rifle down the stretch to escape with a win.

The Sailors were led by junior Tyler Doing, who was 11-13 from the free throw line. He finished the game with nine rebounds, three steals and 15 points. Sophomore Dawson Lindquist added 14 points and five rebounds, and Aden Knaus contributed 10 points to the team's totals.

The Sailors will honor lone senior Jake Berry during Thursday night's regular season finale. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. 

One last chance for the girls

The season has come down to one game for the Steamboat Springs High School girls team, and when the squad steps onto the court to face Summit, they will have a single goal — winning.

"Whatever it takes, we want to try to win," assistant coach Lori Raper said. "We want to win for the seniors and win because we have not won in two years for the varsity."

It's been a rough season for the young Steamboat Springs girls team. On Tuesday night, Steamboat traveled to Rifle and fell 69-22 to the league leaders.

The Sailors will be hoping to avoid going winless this season at 6 p.m. Thursday when they faces off against Summit, a team that is 2-8 this season. It will be the final home game of the 2017-18 campaign and will also give the team the chance to honor seniors Karly Lanning, Lana Pivarnik and Katelyn Ibarra.

"Many of the teams we face in the league have been playing together for multiple years, and our kids have not," Raper said. "We have great athletes, we have great attitudes … It's a never-quit attitude no matter what the score is." 

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.