Steamboat hockey eyes home playoff game | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat hockey eyes home playoff game

The Steamboat Springs High School hockey team went 2-0 on the weekend and is hoping to lock up a home playoff game for later this month.

— The Steamboat Springs High School hockey team easily rolled to two victories during the weekend, and coach Ernie Theil said the squad is prepping itself for the looming postseason tournament.

The Sailors beat Chatfield on Friday 10-2, then came back Saturday to beat Standley Lake 8-0, improving their record to 12-4-2 and bouncing back after an 0-2 weekend the week before.

"We'd played the teams before, and we knew what to expect," Theil said. "We ended up with the results we were hoping for. Last week and going into this week really has been about getting our details down for the playoffs."

This weekend, the team got four goals from David LaPointe, three from Cameron Colombo, two each from Cisco Delliquadri and Andrew Mitchell and one each from Griffin Maltby, Peter Wharton, Matthew Kempers, Jonathan Kaminski, Colby Beckett, Jack Bender and Dakota Kenyon.

Steamboat, second in the Pinnacle conference, lost Feb. 3 against Dakota Ridge, fifth in the Foothill conference, 4-0. A day later, the Sailors lost to Fort Collins, 14-0 atop the Pinnacle conference, 4-2.

"We played a decent game against Dakota Ridge, but we just couldn't bury the puck," Theil said. "We were extremely flat against Fort Collins, too many penalties, but we really believe we can beat them if we see them again."

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Steamboat hopes to land a home first-round playoff game, then make some noise in that tournament.

Twenty-four teams will make the field for the playoffs, which start Feb. 21. The top eight teams will receive a bye, while the bottom 16 teams battle it out to advance to play those top eight.

The Sailors have one regular season game remaining, Friday at home against Summit. After that, the team will likely fall outside the top eight, but inside the next eight, ensuring a home playoff game.

Steamboat is currently 13th in the chsaanow.com RPI rankings.

The team is already preparing for that opportunity.

"We're working on increasing our awareness on the ice," Theil said. "We have a great culture on the team, and the team has done fantastic. It hasn't all been rainbows and butterflies, by any means, but at the same time, heading into the playoffs, our seniors will be able to look back on a great season and know they had a great final year of high school hockey."

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