Third time’s a charm for Steamboat hockey |

Third time’s a charm for Steamboat hockey

— It didn’t necessarily make sense that a playoff matchup with Fort Collins was the game the Steamboat Springs High School hockey team was hoping for.

The Sailors had played the Lambkins twice during the regular season and lost both times, 4-2 in the second game.

Still, the Sailors won round three, knocking off Fort Collins 3-2 Friday night in the second round of the Colorado hockey playoffs.

The Sailors grabbed the initiative with two huge goals in the first period, the first from David LaPointe, just 76 seconds into the game, and the second from Peter Wharton.

Fort Collins responded with a goal in the second, but Steamboat boosted the lead back up with a Jack Bender score early in the third period.

The Lambkins made one final push, pulling their goalie and scoring with about 2 minutes remaining, but Steamboat held after that for the win.

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The Sailors, the tournament’s No. 11 seed, advance to play No. 3 Cherry Creek at 11:10 a.m. Saturday in Centennial.

Fort Collins was seeded sixth and had only been defeated once this season. Steamboat finished solidly second in its division behind Fort Collins. Still, it was the game Steamboat wanted, and when the team saw it had a potential second-round playoff matchup against Fort Collins, it was not disappointed.

"Be careful what you wish for, but this is pretty much the bracket we were hoping for," Steamboat coach Ernie Thiel said about the seeding Sunday. “We really believe we could beat Fort Collins if we see them again.”

Down 0-2 in the series, it seemed like a long shot, but it’s one that delivered in a huge way for Steamboat on Friday.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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