Steamboat hockey suffers shutout against Battle Mountain in final home game
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs High School hockey team has had more than its fair share of losses this year but had only been shut out once, and that was to a nonconference opponent. The Sailors average a little over two goals per game.
In a make-up game against Battle Mountain on Monday, Feb. 17, the Sailors couldn’t score one, suffering a 4-0 shutout at home.
Through the first two periods, Steamboat was putting tons of shots on net. All the usual suspects flung a few into the body of Battle Mountain goaltender Jayden Mather. Steamboat senior defender Griffin Maltby attempted a slap shot from the blue line, senior forward David Thiel had a close-range chance denied, and senior forward Tanner Ripley had a wrist shot from the circle stopped by Mather’s glove.
While the effort and quantity of shots were there, head coach Ernie Thiel said that isn’t always enough.
“I thought we had some good opportunities, I just don’t think they were as quality as we needed them to be,” he said. “We didn’t get it all the way through three lines. That was the biggest issue. We only had it, essentially, in the top two.”
With 6:44 left in the second, the Sailors went on the power play for the fourth time that afternoon. They attempted a few early shots, but gave up their advantage with a hooking penalty. With 20 seconds left on the penalty kill, Battle Mountain’s Parker Nash scored from the blue line.
Steamboat had six man-advantage chances but weren’t able to capitalize on any.
“I think we were struggling on our power play. We had a lot of opportunities, we just couldn’t put it in the net,” said junior forward Aidan Story. “I felt like we weren’t meshing well, and our passes weren’t connecting. We just struggled to get good, quality shots on net.”
Ernie Thiel said the main reason that goals are hard to come by is the lack of depth on the team. Ripley, David Thiel and Maltby account for 27 of the team’s 39 goals. That’s nearly 70% of the offense crammed into two centers and a top defender.
“We have so many freshmen and sophomores on the team. They’re skill sets are there, but their ability mentally to play the game at this level isn’t quite there, yet,” said Ernie Thiel. “It’s challenging for those guys to try to keep up.”
On the other end of the ice, Sailors sophomore netminder Indiana Kretzschmar wasn’t necessarily busy, but when the Huskies had a chance, it was a strong one. The sophomore let in a goal in each of the first two periods.
Going into the third, Steamboat was down 2-0. The Sailors played three games in the last four days in which they allowed six goals or more. A 2-0 deficit was nothing. Then again, the team was tired from all the action.
Story said he was a bit sore, but probably more so than most, as he was shoved into the boards in Monday’s game and was definitely feeling that more than anything.
Battle Mountain put away the game with two more goals in the third. Freddy Aalto flicked a perfectly-timed pass from Luke Grimaldi to put the Huskies up 3-0 seven minutes into the third. Jack Suhadolink scored with 3:35 left in the game with helpers from Alex Parliament and Dillon Flaagan.
The loss was the last time the Steamboat seniors will play at Howelsen Ice Arena. They will conclude the season on Saturday, Feb. 22, at Mullen.
“I’ve had a lot of fun this year playing with all them,” said Story. “I’m gonna miss them. It’s gonna be rough adjusting, but since we have a lot of underclassmen on this team, I think we’ll have a decent year next year because we’ll have more experience.”
Monday, Feb. 17
Battle Mountain 4, Steamboat Springs 0
BM 1 1 2 – 4
SS 0 0 0 – 0
BM – Carson Dietz (Luke Grimaldi), 5:09
BM – Parker Nash (Alex Parliament, Jack Suhadolink), PP, 13:33
BM – Freddy Aalto (Grimaldi), 6:50
BM – Suhadolink (Parliament, Dillon Flaagan), 13:25
Saturday, Feb. 15
Cherry Creek 9, Steamboat Springs 2
CC 4 2 3 – 9
SS 0 2 0 – 2
CC – David Kirilchuk (Nicholas Hoppe), 4:46
CC – Luke Flay (Charlie Krause), 8:08
CC – Hunter Fieweger (Gavin Berkey, Riley Hunt-Bahn), 11:50
CC – Fleweger (Hunt-Bahn), 15:47
SS – Max Kenney (Griffin Matlby), 4:02
SS – Aidan Story, PP, 10:13
CC – Joe Kuzminski (Dalton Berkey, Krause), 11:53
CC – Hunt-Bahn (Jason Brodsky, Kirilchuk), 14:44
CC – Kuzminski (Berkey, Krause), 4:37
CC – Fleweger (Luke Flay), 8:59
CC – Benjamin Powell (Berkey), 11:02
Friday, Feb. 14
Dakota Ridge 7, Steamboat Springs 5
DR 1 3 3 – 7
SS 2 1 2 – 5
DR – Alex Alexiev (Josh Ebeling), 1:00
SS – David Thiel (Griffin Maltby), 11:43
SS – Quinn Dorris (Max Kenney), PP, 16:16
SS – Tanner Ripley (Jake Filler, Maltby), PP, 5:41
DR – River Perry (Holden Spence), 9:27
DR – Colin Fitzgerald, PP, 12:45
DR – Alexiev (Noah Bradder), PP, 15:42
SS – Maltby (Walker Ripley), 1:04
SS – Ripley (Kenney), SH, 1:58
DR – Tyson Skanderberg (Colin Fitzgerald), PP, 7:23
DR – Perry (Skanderberg), PP, 8:24
DR – Fitzgerald, 16:15
Thursday, Feb. 13
Glenwood Springs 6, Steamboat Springs 2
SS 0 1 1 – 2
GS 2 3 1 – 6
GS – Ryan Kotz (Max Mencimer, Colter Strautman), 10:19
GS – Mencimer (Sean Mooney, Kotz), PP, 16:53
GS – Mencimer (William Bingaman, Cole Houston), 5:55
GS – Robbie Weir (Houston), 6:26
SS – David Thiel (Griffin Maltby, James Bernsten), 9:22
GS – Nolan McPherson (Jacob Fowler), 11:25
GS – Mooney, PP, 7:22
SS – Maltby (Thiel, Max Kenney), PP, 15:17
Steamboat Springs Ice Hockey schedule
- 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, L 1-2
- Jan. 29: Fort Collins at Steamboat Springs, L 8-1
- Jan. 31: Summit at Steamboat Springs, L 10-1
- Feb. 1: Palmer at Steamboat Springs, W 5-2
- Feb. 4: Steamboat Springs at Battle Mountain, L 7-2
- Feb. 12: Steamboat Springs at Glenwood Springs, L 6-2
- Feb. 14: Dakota Ridge at Steamboat Springs, L 7-5
- Feb. 15: Cherry Creek at Steamboat Springs, L 9-2
- Feb. 17: Battle Mountain at Steamboat Springs, L 4-0
- Feb. 22: Steamboat Springs at Mullen, 8:30 p.m.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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