Steamboat hockey beats Peak to Peak
Sailors bounce back after loss to Aspen to win at home
Steamboat Springs — There is an old adage in hockey that if you throw the puck at the net, good things usually happen.
So just four days after laying an egg against Aspen, the Steamboat Springs High School hockey team did the simplest thing: The team threw it at the net, and those good things did happen.
Steamboat easily skated by Peak to Peak on Saturday at home, 6-2, with five of the goals coming on tip-ins off of shots or passes.
“If you do nothing else, you wear those goaltenders out,” said Steamboat coach Jeff Ruff, whose team had 18 first-period shots and 37 in the game. “That in and of itself is important, because later in the game that goaltender doesn’t get over as quickly to make a save.”
For all intents and purposes, Steamboat’s talent far outweighed that of Peak to Peak. But that also was the case Tuesday when Steamboat lost, 3-1, to Aspen.
This time, however, Steamboat was the first to the puck and sent a barrage of shots toward Peak to Peak goaltender Peter Gormley.
It started in the first period, when Steamboat bookended a pair of power-play goals on nearly the exact same play.
The first came when Christian Ramirez threw the puck on net and Lance Ostrom tipped it in for a 1-0 lead.
After the Pumas took advantage of a giveaway in the Sailors zone and tied it at 1, Patrick Weston shot a puck on net and Ben Wharton redirected it for a 2-1 lead.
“Jeff just said to try to get as many shots as you could on net, and it will end up good,” said Wharton, who finished with two goals and an assist.
Blayne Conroy and Wharton added early second-period goals, before Ostrom tipped one in on the power play to make it 5-1 going into the third period.
“We work on that all the time,” Ostrom said. “Screen the goalie and keep it low. It worked out well” Saturday.
The Sailors went three of seven with a man up, a welcome sign after the power-play unit struggled for most of last season. The Sailors consistently moved the puck well and found open lanes all afternoon with a man up.
“This year, they’re really gelling well and reading the pressure well,” Ruff said about the power-play unit. “They’re moving the puck to the open areas, and we’re getting a lot of shots. When you get that man advantage, you want to make them pay.”
John Wharton added a goal for Steamboat in the third, before Peak to Peak’s Chad Sneed scored a late one for the result.
Steamboat enters the holiday break 5-1, showing that the team can score. Ruff said he’s happy, but he’d like to see Steamboat’s defense clean up its errors, two of which led to goals Saturday.
“We want to work on cleaning up the defensive zone,” he said. “As we head into the meat of our season, that will be much more important for us.”
Steamboat next plays at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 7 at home against Monarch.
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