Sailors hockey power play struggles in loss to Denver East
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — With 30 seconds remaining in the second frame, senior Tanner Ripley scored the first goal for the Steamboat Springs High School hockey team. Denver East had already netted seven.
The Sailors outscored the Angels 2-1 in the third, but the home team fell 8-2 to the at Howelsen Ice Arena on Friday, Jan. 10.
Down 7-1 in the third, Steamboat senior defender James Bernsten brought the puck over the blue line. He nearly had a shot, but was cutoff by a defender. Against the boards, he pushed the puck behind him to Steamboat freshman Connor Rushton, who scooped it into the net for his first varsity goal.
“It’s almost every game we start out slow and we gradually build momentum,” said head coach Ernie Thiel. “The downside is we have to fix this, the upside is we had a few young players who showed promise. By far, (junior) Aidan Story was our best player on the ice tonight and he’s new to the varsity team. … Our younger guys performed.”
The slow start put the Sailors in an early hole.
Late in an Angels power play, Steamboat Springs sophomore goaltender Marek Demorat looked like he had control of the puck in front of him. It got loose though, and by the time Demorat got his eye on the puck, Denver East senior Wyatt Cirbo was flicking it behind him and into the net.
Cirbo’s goal put the Angels up 3-0 with 4:51 left in the first period.
The Sailors looked sharp through most of the penalty kill, not opening any lanes to the net, forcing the Angels to pass over and over. Heavy traffic in front of the net and Cirbo’s wide-angled shot did in the Steamboat penalty kill, though.
Demorat was pulled after allowing a fourth goal that gave Denver East senior Connor Hasse a hat trick less than a minute into the second.
Sophomore Indiana Kretzschmar took over between the pipes. He didn’t stand a chance against Hasse’s wrist shot, though. Hasse’s fourth score of the night triggered a running clock.
“They should have never had those shots,” said Thiel. “Defense as a whole, as a team, was the failure there. We can’t expect the goaltenders to be stopping everything.”
Steamboat had many man-advantage situations in which they could have at least put some shots on net, but even that was a struggle for the Sailors. Instead, they gave up two short-handed goals.
Denver East senior Matthew McDonald was responsible for the second man-down score. The lefty faked right then used his backhand to maneuver around a Sailor defender before slipping the puck under Kretzschmar’s right pad.
“We would go down in the zone, then not get back and get scored on by breakaways,” junior Quinn Dorris said, shrugging his shoulders.
Thiel said he’ll have to restructure his power play units in the future.
Denver East 8, Steamboat Springs 2
DE 3 4 1 – 8
SS 0 0 2 – 2
DE – Connor Hasse, 12:46
DE – Hasse, SH, 10:45
DE – Wyatt Cirbo, PP, 4:51
DE – Connor Hasse, 16:05
DE – Matthew McDonald,13:00
DE – Hasse, PP. 9:20
DE – McDonald, 6:00
SS – Quinn Dorris 0:30
SS – Connor Rushton (James Bernsten), 8:45
DE – McDonald (Cirbo), 7:30
- Dec. 6-7: Steamboat Springs at Crested Butte, W 4-3, L 7-2
- Dec. 11: Steamboat Springs at Summit, L 6-3
- Dec. 20: Steamboat Springs at Aspen, L 4-2
- Jan. 10: Denver East at Steamboat Springs, 7:30 p.m., L 8-2
- Jan. 17: Aspen at Steamboat Springs, T 2-2
- Jan. 18: Glenwood Springs at Steamboat Springs, L 8-5
- Jan. 20: Steamboat Springs at Chaparral, L 7-0
- Jan. 25: Steamboat Springs at Mountain Vista, 6:30 p.m.
- Jan. 31: Summit at Steamboat Springs, 7:45 p.m.
- Feb. 1: Palmer at Steamboat Springs, 3 p.m.
- Feb. 4: Steamboat Springs at Battle Mountain 3:45 p.m.
- Feb. 7: Battle Mountain at Steamboat Springs, 7:45 p.m.
- Feb. 12: Steamboat Springs at Glenwood Springs, 7:45 p.m.
- Feb. 14: Dakota Ridge at Steamboat Springs, 5:15 p.m.
- Feb. 15: Cherry Creek at Steamboat Springs, 3 p.m.
- Feb. 22: Steamboat Springs at Mullen, 8:30 p.m.
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