Chix title hopes on ice |

Chix title hopes on ice

Women's B1 hockey team wraps up season

Chix with Stix team member Renee Dupree, right, races down the ice with the puck during her team's match against the Silverwolves at Howelsen Hill Ice Arena on Saturday. The Chix with Stix lost, 5-1.
Brian Ray

— The Chix with Stix needed a quick fix.

The Steamboat Springs women’s hockey team opened the Women’s Association of Colorado Hockey B1 State Tournament with a disappointing 9-0 loss to the University of Denver on Friday. The Chix needed to pull together a win on Saturday at the Howelsen Ice Arena for any hope of advancing to today’s championship.

Unfortunately, the Chix’ stacked side of the tournament’s two four-team pools earned them (the No. 4 seed with a 9-9-2 league record) a second-round game with the No. 1-seeded Colorado Springs Silverwolves (19-1 in league).

The scoring flurry that resulted in a 5-1 Silverwolves’ win started early as forward Laura Ryan scored on a rebound before the clock had started running and was followed by Diane Reyes’ goal a few minutes later to give the Silverwolves a 2-0 lead.

The Chix answered by winning the ensuing face-off and pushing the puck into the Silverwolves’ zone. Holly Curtiss got to a rebounded shot and buried the puck low to cut the lead to one, but Reyes instantly struck again to put the Silverwolves up 3-1.

“If you could just take away those first few minutes of the first period, you’d have yourself a game,” said Chix coach Tim Shorland. “It’s hard to come back when you’re down like that. We’d been working hard coming into the tournament on playing good team hockey and it just didn’t happen for us today.”

The Silverwolves added a goal to end the first period and another to open the second, but the game evened from there as the Chix created offensive opportunities and shut down the Silverwolves’ power play. The Chix out-shot the Silverwolves 13-12 in the second and third periods.

“They crashed in front of the net great,” Silverwolves coach Scott Cronk said. “They challenged us in the middle and played center-ice hockey well.”

Although the Chix could not find the net, they kept the Silverwolves offense at bay with a dramatic third-period play from goalkeeper Nikki Knoebel, who came out of the crease and stopped Silverwolves forward Ashley Bergland’s breakaway with a solid hit. Knoebel finished with 16 saves.

Although the Chix hopes for a tournament title are now dashed, they remain content having played another successful season together.

“It was a great season and as far as the team goes, everyone gets along so well – and I grew up with eight sisters, so I know what it’s like balancing all the characters and personalities,” said center Renee Dupre. “The team’s supportive and compassionate for women’s issues (three players were absent to maternity leave this season), but want to balance the fun and fitness of hockey. The group of women create a sisterhood, and that’s more important than winning or losing and why I’ve been doing it for seven years.”

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