Sailors hockey pushes back, wins 2nd game | SteamboatToday.com

Sailors hockey pushes back, wins 2nd game

Ben Ingersoll

— This time, the Steamboat Springs High School hockey team wasn’t going to let another costly late mistake send them to the locker room with a loss.

Not on a night when the crowd at Howelsen Ice Arena was rocking and a night when the Sailors’ lone senior Logan Bankard was basking in his senior night.

Leading 3-1 off a Jack McNamara third-period goal, visiting Summit struck back in just 20 seconds on a Sailor defenseman’s error. Steamboat didn’t wilt, but instead pushed back, netting another goal and that ushered Bankard out a winner with a 4-2 victory, the Sailors’ second of the season.

"These guys really have a lot of heart in them," said Bankard, who recently was named Steambaot’s third captain for the remainder of the season. "Summit came back with that quick goal, but these guys like to fight. This is the best team I’ve ever played with when it comes to fighting hard. We might be a small and young team, but they always come back mentally."

The Sailors (2-13) came out striking early, jumping out to a 1-0 first-period lead off David Cropper’s goal. After an active but scoreless second period, Steamboat pushed its lead to 2-0 when freshman Nate Kelley blasted in his first-career high school score.

But Kelley’s goal was just a small piece in what ended up being a wild third period.

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The Tigers closed the gap with about 12 minutes to go in the game when George Kasch found a wide-open net after Sailors goalie Jackson Draper lost his footing. Four minutes later, McNamara scored that 3-1 goal only to see Summit’s George Kamins again make it a one-score lead.

Junior Harry Wilson ensured it wouldn’t unravel, though. The junior took a Jordan Gorr feed and burried Summit with 4 minutes remaining to seal the deal.

"For the most part, we kept our composure," Sailors coach Chris Campanelli said. "We didn’t let stupid penalties control what could have been a disappointing loss. We showed some heart and grit there toward the end."

The game did get scrappy in the final 17 minutes. The likes of Chris Kaminski, Colin Musselman and Peter Wharton delivered huge hits — one in particular that got Wharton sent to the locker room early with a disqualifying charging call. Summit answered back with hits of its own and were done in by a few questionable calls, something even Campanelli said played a factor afterward.

The Sailors attacked for the entire 51 minutes, out-shooting the Tigers, 27-22. Steamboat goalie Jackson Draper had a quiet night until the final period, and he finished with 20 saves.

"It’s always nice playing on the home ice," Bankard said. "There is nothing better than being at home. It’s great how the fans started coming back even when we were kicking butt toward the end."

Steamboat gets one last shot at home Saturday, but it surely will be a more difficult task as 9-2 Resurrection Christian comes to Howelsen. The puck drops at 5 p.m.

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll