Three local youth teams gain victories | SteamboatToday.com

Three local youth teams gain victories

Steamboat hockey tournament wraps up today

Luke Graham

Kaelen Gunderson, of the Steamboat Bantam's A division, steals the puck from a Renegades opponent during the Ski Town USA Hockey Festival on Saturday at the Howelsen Ice Arena. The tournament continues today.

— The tie may have earned the Steamboat Springs midget hockey team only one point in the standings, but the 1-1 result against a team from Cheyenne, Wyo., proved much more valuable to Steamboat’s coaches.

A day after falling to Craig, 3-2, the midget-level team showed it’s much more than a finesse team during Saturday’s action at the Ski Town USA Hockey Festival at Howelsen Ice Arena.

Against a bigger Wyoming team, Steamboat matched its northern foes in intensity and hitting.

“That was a good example of how we can play a physical game,” Steamboat coach Dwight Gayer said. “Being able to do that says a lot about our team.”

Steamboat got on the board late in the first period when Austin Anderson found Matt Kauffmann just outside the right crease. Cheyenne answered in the second period when a shot from just inside the blue line caromed off the boards and in front of the net, where a Cheyenne player snuck it into the back of the goal.

“That’s the best game I’ve ever played,” said Steamboat goalie Ian Berry, who stopped 27 of 28 shots. “I was quick and moved well. I saved a lot of shots I normally wouldn’t have.”

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The physicality of the game intensified in the third periods when the teams combined for 23 penalty minutes. Both teams had 5-on-3 advantages late in the period, but neither could capitalize with a game-winning goal.

“Penalty minutes come with the game,” Gayer said. “I still believe the refs let the kids play.”

Unfortunately, the momentum couldn’t carry over as Steamboat fell to Providence, 2-1, late Friday. The midgets now play in the consolation game today at noon.

In earlier action, goals from Ian Anderson, Lance Ostrom and Colin Walt helped the Steamboat Bantam team easily dispatch of the Greeley Renegades, 3-0.

Coach Tim Anderson said the win illustrated exactly how his team plays.

“Unselfish,” Anderson said. “They’re all very good individual skill players, but they’re much better teammates.”

After falling in their second game of the day, 5-2 to Arapahoe, the Bantam team now plays in the consolation game against NCYH at 9 a.m. today.

The Steamboat peewee team won both of its games on Friday – 3-1 against Boulder and 4-2 against Arvada – and will play in the championship game at 7:30 a.m. today against the Greeley Renegades.

– To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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