Steamboat hockey’s strong effort dashed by final-period goals
Steamboat Springs — One goal — a winner-takes-all goal — was all it took.
Despite a valiant effort from the Steamboat Springs High School hockey team in arguably its most complete game of the season, the Sailors were victimized by a third-period Battle Mountain score that sealed the deal, 5-3, and kept the host team winless.
Huskies captain Tanner Crisofulli netted the go-ahead goal with about 13 minutes left in the final period to make it 4-3, and Battle Mountain tacked on a last-second, empty-net goal to sink Steamboat to 0-9.
The loss was rough — another notch in the “L” column — but new Sailors coach Chris Campanelli couldn’t have been more pleased for his team’s 51 minutes of effort.
“That might have been one of the best games of the season,” Campanelli said. “Their level of intensity was up the whole game.”
Steamboat peppered Huskies goalie Miles Petterson a number of times early and often, and the Sailors’ Colin Mussleman even drew first blood, his first goal of the season in the opening period. But a Battle Mountain score in the first period’s waning seconds evened the game at 1-1.
“If we don’t come back and tie that game in the first period with just 11 seconds left, it could have been a whole different game,” Huskies coach and Detroit Red Wings alumnus Dennis Hextall said.
Instead, the two squads traded goals back and forth in an entertaining second period. Steamboat’s Peter Wharton and Brenden Selby each found the back of the net, but it was Crisofulli’s final-period goal — a period when the Sailors couldn’t slide one in — that made the difference in the end.
The takeaways, though, were mostly positive for Campanelli and company afterward. The coach praised the play of Selby and Wharton and said senior Logan Bankard, who was returning from injury, played his best game of the season.
On the other side of the ice, goalie Jackson Draper endured nearly a period and a half of Steamboat-induced penalty minutes that Campanelli said was the biggest difference in the final outcome.
“We had some mental breakdowns,” Campanelli said. “We probably ended up in the penalty box tonight as much as we have been in the box collectively all season.”
Draper held his ground, shutting out two five-minute major penalties in the opening and closing periods.
The Sailors have a quick turnaround, but they again are back at Howelsen Ice Arena on Saturday afternoon, this time hosting a struggling Kent Denver squad that lost Thursday to Doherty, 7-1.
“If we play with excellent tenacity, I think we have a very good shot at getting a ‘W,’” Campanelli said.
The puck drops at 3 p.m.
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