Sailors fall 8-1 to Fort Collins |

Sailors fall 8-1 to Fort Collins

A pair of Steamboat Springs hockey players battle with two Fort Collins players for the puck during a game on Wednesday, Jan. 29.
Shelby Reardon

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — In the Steamboat Springs High School hockey team’s 8-1 loss to Fort Collins on Wednesday, Jan. 29, the Sailors made two major mistakes that cost them throughout the game.

Penalty kills cost the Sailors the ability to play most of the game at even strength. However, even in 5-on-5 play, or with a man advantage, the Sailors failed to move the puck as much as head coach Ernie Thiel desired. 

If those two issues hadn’t been consistent throughout, perhaps the Sailors could have had a victory.

“We can’t keep from shooting ourselves in the foot,” said Thiel. “We practice one way, we work on things in practice, they execute them in practice. Then, we get to games, and it just goes out the window.”

Penalty Kill 

Steamboat spent 14 minutes on the penalty kill and allowed a goal on all four of Fort Collins’ power plays. 

The Sailors earned an early lead, but penalties ensured it didn’t last long. 

With a wrist shot from the slot, Steamboat senior defender Griffin Maltby put the Sailors up 1-0 six minutes into the game.

The Steamboat Springs hockey team celebrates an early goal from senior Griffin Maltby during a game on Wednesday, Jan. 29.
Shelby Reardon

Right after his goal, a Sailor committed a hooking penalty. Forty seconds later, another Sailor was sent to the box for hooking. Sailors sophomore goaltender Indiana Kretzschmar tried to make the stop to his right, but the puck kicked out in front of the net, and Nolan Willimason shoveled it into the net with no contest. 

“Usually it’s huge,” Maltby said of his team holding an early lead. “They kind of snapped back pretty quick. We got one early, and they came right back at us with a bunch. We were on the penalty kill. … If we had stayed even, maybe we would have had a lot better chance.”

A minute later, with a 5-on-4 advantage, the Lambkins added another power play goal from Jaden Aguilera. A last minute goal extended the lead to 3-1 with 26 seconds left in the first. 

Steamboat committed seven total penalties, compared to the Lambkin’s five. 

“A lot them were dumb penalties from us being lazy,” Maltby confessed. “We have to step up a little and keep our focus.”

Moving the puck on offense

Steamboat has trouble generating any chances on offense because the players don’t move the puck as often as Thiel wants them to. Most shots or goals have come from a single player working their way into the zone. 

“We don’t move the puck to each other. They were a great exhibition of always finding the next guy to move the puck to. Nobody carried the puck,” said Thiel. “They took one step, and it was going to someone else. If we do that, the other team starts standing still and watching. That’s what they did to us.”

Five minutes into the third period, a bang-bang-bang passing sequence allowed Nolan Williamson to quickly slip the puck past Kretschmar for Fort Collins sixth goal of the game. A few minutes later, Aguilera scored his second of the evening by pushing the loose puck past a sprawling Kretschmar.

The Lambkins put 42 shots on goal, while the Sailors had 13. Maltby and senior forward David Thiel had most of them. Three minutes into the third, Maltby had a breakaway opportunity. Fort Collins goalie Caleb Choury made the initial stop, and the rebound was left untouched.

Additionally, the team is down four key players. Ernie Thiel said his team will regain some confidence if and when those players return. Still, with a banged up roster and a 1-4-1 overall record, Maltby hasn’t given up hope. 

“It’s hard to keep your focus, but you just got to know that you can still have a chance at playoffs by stealing a couple games,” he said. “We just got to keep looking at the next one.”

Fort Collins 8, Steamboat Springs 1
FC  3 2  3 – 8
SS  1 0  0 – 1
First period
SS – Griffin Maltby (Quinn Dorris), 6:53
FC – Nolan Williamson (Jason Campos, Garrett Dilts), PP, 7:12
FC – Jaden Aguilera (Bryce Hall), PP, 8:35
FC – Nolan Devine (Marek Thompson, Tanner Marsh), 16:34
Second period
FC – Tanner Marsh (Williamson, Devine) PP, 3:16
FC – Dyson Diaz (Riley Laub), 9:57
Third period
FC – Williamson (Devine), 5:51
FC – Aguilera (Laub, Dilts), PP, 9:03
FC – Riley Reidlinger (Bennet Johnson), 16:35

Saturday, Jan. 25
Mountain Vista 2, Steamboat Springs 1

SS 1 0 0 – 1
MV 2 0 0 – 2
First period
MV – Zachary Anderson (Ethan Dupree, Caden Hunter), 1:52
MV – Mason Anderson (Jesse Kittay), PP, 4:57
SS – Tanner Ripley (Griffin Maltby, Jake Filler), PP, 13:23
Second period
No scoring.
Third period
No scoring.

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 or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User