‘Too late’: Sailors hockey digs early hole against Glenwood Springs | SteamboatToday.com

‘Too late’: Sailors hockey digs early hole against Glenwood Springs

Steamboat Springs High School freshman goaltender Rush Hale watches as a shot approaches during a game against Glenwood Springs on Saturday, Jan. 18.
Shelby Reardon

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs High School hockey team nearly completed a comeback against Glenwood Springs on Saturday.

The Sailors went into the final period down 6-3 and scored two quick goals to close the gap. However, the Demons added more goals before the Sailors could, eventually winning 8-5 from Howelsen Ice Arena on Jan. 18.

“That’s been our problem all season long, we start slow,” said Steamboat head coach Ernie Thiel. “If we could play half of a game, we’d win them all, but we got to find a way to put a whole game together.”

Two minutes into the third, senior Griffin Maltby used a wrist shot from the top of the circle to trim the deficit to two goals. Just over a minute later, a spinning backhand from freshman Jake Filler got the boys in red within one.

They nearly got even on the power play as junior Aidan Story attempted to redirect a shot from Maltby. Seconds later, the puck danced the length of the goal line after a wraparound attempt. The Sailors were hungry to tie it up.

However, on a shorthanded breakaway, Glenwood Springs senior Ryan Kotz not only faked out a Sailors defender, but beat freshman goaltender Rush Hale stick side to put the Demons up 7-5. Glenwood junior Owen Mangeot added another with three minutes to play to seal the victory.

Thiel said it wasn’t the late goals, but losing two players that really ended the game for his team.

Steamboat Springs senior Tanner Ripley pursues Glenwood Springs senior Ryan Kotz during a game on Saturday, Jan. 18.
Shelby Reardon

“I think the end of it was the fact that we lost two players at the very end,” Thiel said. “We lost Jake Filler and (junior) Quinn Dorris (to injury). That depleted our depth significantly in those situations when we needed it.”

Starting with a goal from Filler, the Sailors scored three times in the second.

With a backhand pass from the boards behind the net, Steamboat junior Aidan Story found senior Tanner Ripley. Ripley collected the puck in front of him, flicked it just to his left and fired on net. His wrist shot beat Demons senior goalie Hunter Hadsock and cut the Glenwood lead to 4-2. 

“That first goal was huge then when I scored that second goal, I think we finally found some legs to keep us going,” said Ripley. “From there, it was a really even game, it was just too late.”

Steamboat Springs junior Daniel Kempers moves the puck through the neutral zone during a game against Glenwood Springs on Saturday, Jan. 18.
Shelby Reardon

Thirty seconds after the Demons went up 5-2, Steamboat senior David Thiel shoved the puck past Hadsock as the netminder hunted for it among a flurry of skates in his crease.

Two hundred feet away, in the Sailors net, freshman Rush Hale made his high school debut.

“We kind of threw his feet to the fire,” said Thiel. “He’s only played Bantams so far, this is his first high school game, and it just happened to be a varsity game. We just wanted to give him a shot.”

The newcomer allowed eight goals, but he made many saves. Some shots he deflected away from the net with his stick, and for others he flashed the glove to draw the whistle.

“I think he played very well,” said Ripley. “There are definitely some nerves and some things we can build off, but he’s got a bright future ahead of him.”

Glenwood Springs 8, Steamboat Springs 5
GS  3  3  2 – 8
SS  0  3   2 – 5
First period
GS – 16:32
GS – 14:13
GS – 1:09
Second period
GS – 15:46, PP
SS – Jake Filler, 15:07
SS – Tanner Ripley, 9:32
GS – Cole Houston, 4:01
SS – David Thiel, 3:28
GS – Sean Mooney, 0:25
Third period
SS – Griffin Maltby, 14:43
SS – Filler, 13:27
GS – Ryan Kotz, SH, 6:17
GS – Owen Mangeot, 3:00

To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.

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