Steamboat hockey team falls short of Frozen Four
February 25, 2018
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The flu could not have come at a worse time for the Steamboat Springs High School hockey team.
On Friday night, the Sailors were able to fight through it to beat Dakota Ridge 4-2 in Windsor to advance in the playoffs.
That put them up against the Chaparral Wolverines on Saturday night for a chance to advance to the Frozen Four for a second-straight year.
The Sailors came into the match-up having already beat the Wolverines twice this season.
"It was tough for us," Steamboat coach Ernie Thiel said. "Four of our top players came down with the flu Thursday, and our two backup goalies had the flu also. Those guys basically toughed it out this weekend, and we just ran out of gas."
The Sailors lost in the high-scoring game 8-5.
"Last night, they looked like a completely different team," Thiel said of the Wolverines.
Thiel said his team had a slow start during Saturday night's game, and the Wolverines took advantage of opportunities.
"We had some early penalties," Thiel said. "From that point on, we were playing catch-up."
The Sailors finished the season 14-6-1.
"Any time you fall short in the postseason of your expectations, it can come across as pretty disappointing, but overall, I'm pretty happy with the results," Thiel said.
He said he was thankful for the support throughout the season from assistant coaches and team managers, especially parent Sorrell Tritz.
"It just makes it easier to coach and focus on training," Thiel said.
Nine seniors played their last game with the Sailors.
"We'll be in a rebuilding year next year," Theil said.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland