Sailors snap streak: Hockey team wins for first time this season Saturday

Joel Reichenberger

— Pressed about what was different Saturday afternoon and the coaches and players of the Steamboat Springs High School hockey team uniformly agreed plenty of it was the opponent, Kent Denver.

The Sailors have played better, they said. They even played better the night before — on Friday — in a loss to Battle Mountain.

Another thing was undoubtedly different: this time, Steamboat won.

The Sailors snapped a nine-game losing streak and won their first game of the season Saturday, defeating Kent Denver, 3-1, in Steamboat.

“It feels amazing,” Steamboat captain Jordan Gorr said. “It’s a great feeling to win a game and now we can keep going off this feeling and energy, keep it up and keep winning.”

The Sailors trailed after the first period, which was 17 minutes of sloppy play that the team was lucky to escape from down 1-0, by coach Chris Campanelli’s estimation.

The squad came alive in the second, however, and it controlled the pace. That paid off with a goal five minutes in when a Logan Bankard shot deflected off the goalkeeper and Gorr was right there to put it away.

Steamboat got another score with five minutes remaining in the second period, this one coming on a scrum at the net. Brendan Selby slapped it home, the assists going to Jack McNamara and Bankard.

“We started getting low shots from the point and our forwards were able to put them in the net,” captain Harry Wilson said. “We saw some things, some gaps in their skill level.”

Finally, the Sailors got one more score when Andrew Mitchell took a pass 5 feet in front of the net and put it away.

“The energy was a lot higher today and we were hungry for a win,” said Jackson Draper, Steamboat’s goalie who made sure those goals stood up for the victory.

The win was a sigh of relief for the team. The frustration had mounted during the losing streak, players admitted.

Some of the frustration stemmed from the fact that Steamboat was close in so many of those losses, within a goal in three and losing the lead late in the game in others.

They’re adamant that the frustration hadn’t soiled their attitudes, however, and that the win was met as much with a knowing nod as that sigh of relief.

“We kept our energy and kept coming to practice with positive attitudes,” Gore said. “We came out today and put it together. We all came in expecting to win this game.”

The Sailors are confident enough that their 0-9, and now 1-9, record doesn’t reflect their team that they’re now planning on a winning streak.

They’ll try to make that happen Monday with a trip to play at Standley Lake, which is 2-4 this season.

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