Sailors head into break undefeated |

Sailors head into break undefeated

Dave Shively

— The Steamboat Springs hockey team has joined the long list of organizations affected by a winter storm that blanketed the Denver metropolitan area.

On Thursday, Steamboat athletic director Richard Lee announced that Steamboat’s hockey game today against Kent Denver (2-4) has been canceled.

Lee said Littleton’s Edge Ice Arena is unlikely to open today. He said Jefferson County, which owns the rink, had focused plowing resources on emergency road clearing before attempting to remove the 30 inches of snow covering Kent Denver’s playing facility.

Lee requested Jan. 9 or 10 as make-up dates and will confirm game time after the holiday break.

Sailors coach Jeff Ruff said his team was preparing this week for the last match on a confident stride. After what he described as a “fairly sloppy” passing game on Saturday against a strong Aspen team, Ruff said his team responded with a series of productive and high intensity practices.

“We walked away thinking we could have played better,” Ruff said. “Aspen’s a good team, but we made them look better. We can, and must, play better. We don’t want to be good, we want to be excellent and win the tough games.”

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Co-captain Tim Ascher said the Sailors’ goal was to go 6-0 heading into the break. But with the Aspen game ending in a 1-1 tie and today’s game canceled, the team will have to be satisfied with being unbeaten at 4-0-1.

“Practice has been great,” Ascher said. “We’re all really believing in each other.”

Ascher said the key is not to relax too much during the break.

“We need to stay conditioned,” Ascher said. “We could lose everything we’ve been working for.”

So far, the Sailors’ hard work has landed them in first place in the 13-team Pikes Peak League.

The Sailors return to the ice on Jan. 5 with their first league game at 2005 state runner-up Cheyenne Mountain (3-2).