Saturday night resilience: Steamboat hockey rallies in third period to stage late comeback |

Saturday night resilience: Steamboat hockey rallies in third period to stage late comeback

Tying the game at 2-2, sophomore Angus Frithsen finds the back of the net and celebrates with his teammates in the third period of a Steamboat Springs hockey game against Lewis-Palmer on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. Steamboat would go on to win the game 4-2.
Tom Skulski/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Entering the third period down 1-0, Steamboat Springs hockey coach Brian Ripley told his team not to panic and to be resilient.

The Sailors were pinned up against a strong 5A opponent in Lewis-Palmer on Saturday night, Dec. 17, and fought hard through all three periods to earn a 4-2 comeback victory. 

The comeback started with a bar-down goal off the stick of senior captain Andrew Kempers who tallied the Sailors first goal of the game early in the third period. Sophomore Angus Frithsen followed that four minutes later with a roller into the net to tie the game at 2-2. 

Five more minutes of back-and-forth play would lead to senior Landon Smith finding a bouncing puck in front of the net and putting it in to count as the game-winning goal. 

“It was good for the team to keep going, keep pushing and not giving up,” Smith said. “After that goal I had to make it 3-2, it just brought everyone back up and it showed the team to never give up and keep going.”

It’s the resiliency that stood out to Ripley who never doubted the comeback was on its way. The Sailors had offensive control of the puck for nearly all three periods. A few miscues and penalties are what granted the early Lewis-Palmer lead.

“We want to dictate the pace of play,” Ripley said. “I thought we really did in the second period, we were in the offensive zone the majority of that period and then one penalty, one shot and we’re down in a game I thought we were dictating.”

With an open look, senior captain Andrew Kempers rips a shot on goal that is saved by the Lewis-Palmer goalie in a Steamboat Springs hockey game on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022.
Tom Skulski/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Now sitting on a 4-1 record at the holiday break, Ripley is proud of the start the Sailors are on and notes the team has already played some of the toughest teams in the state this year. 

With nearly three weeks until the next game, Ripley is hoping to keep the boys focused and get even stronger as a team for the second half of the season. The Sailors will next match up against Mullen on Jan. 6, at home.

“This was a big weekend but that was the messaging,” Ripley said. “We have to end and go on break feeling good about what we’re doing. We come off of break and we have three games pretty quick. We know what’s ahead so it’s about setting a tone.”

Steamboat Springs 4, Lewis-Palmer 2
SS: 0 0 4
LP: 0 1 1

Steamboat goals: Andrew Kempers, Angus Frithsen, Landon Smith, Charlie Moore

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