Wranglers goaltender stays focused as Steamboat falls 14-0 to Blazers
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Just over halfway through the first frame of a game against Oklahoma City, Steamboat Wranglers goaltender Nils Scheider made a gutsy decision.
He skated out of the crease and dropped to his knees to poke-check Blazers captain Dylan Koch. Koch lost control, but only for an instant. He collected the puck again as Scheider struggled to backpedal back to the goal. Although it was from an odd angle, Koch scored an otherwise wide-open goal to put his team up 5-0.
“I don’t think that it’s a decision you make, you just do it. Sometimes you have to take the risk to go out and take the poke-check,” Scheider said. “I saw the puck was a little bit in front of him, so I just took everything I had, went there and took the poke-check.”
Oklahoma City scored nine more in the 14-0 victory over Steamboat on Saturday, Nov. 16, at Howelsen Ice Arena.
Koch had a pair of goals in the first period, as did Brig Neuhold who opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal. It was the first of four man-down goals scored by the Blazers.
Early in the second, Blazers defender Darcy Flanagan was sent to the penalty box. That’s when the Blazers netted yet another shorthanded goal, this time at the hands of Hunter Dougherty.
With just under seven minutes to play in the second period, Benjamin St. Onge went to the box for a double minor. Two minutes in, Lukas Narovec found the back of the net to put the visitors up 10-0. The Blazers scored twice more in the final five minutes of the second to hold a 12-0 advantage at the second intermission.
“As a goalie it’s always hard. You’re always the last guy, you always have to be mentally strong. It takes a lot to stay in there and be like, ‘OK, I’m gonna take the next shot,’” Scheider said. “You just have to take it shot for shot. The next shot is your first shot.”
Blake Reinhart was put between the pipes for Steamboat for the final 20 minutes. He allowed just two more Oklahoma City goals.
Meanwhile, the Wranglers tried to wipe the goose egg of the board. British Columbia Native CJ Storey had a huge opportunity with a two-on-one scenario late in the third. He faked a backhand and shot on netminder Danick Francoer, aiming for the five-hole.
Francoer made the initial save and Storey shoved the rebound in front of the post, but Francoer’s skate got there in time to close the gap.
“We’ve been playing consistently well in the third, keeping it a one-, two-goal game, all season long,” Wranglers head coach Kenny Simmons said. “That’s something we got to figure out how to do right off the drop of the puck in the first period.”
While Steamboat wasn’t great with an extra man, allowing four shorthanded goals, the home team was sharp on the penalty kill. The Wranglers worked to kill off a penalty at the end of the first frame to prevent another goal. They started the second period down a player and killed that penalty off as well.
“I think we just play simple on the kill, stay tight,” Simmons said. “We kept running around even strength and they find their guy backdoor. It’s something that works for them.”
Oklahoma City 14, Steamboat 0
OCB 5 7 2 — 14
SSW 0 0 0 — 0
OCB – Brig Neuhold (Flanagan, St. Onge), SH
OCB – Benjamin St. Onge (Flanagan, Neuhold), SH, 11:47
OCB – Dylan Koch, 10:31
OCB – St. Onge, 9:38
OCB – Koch, 8:24
OCB – Hunter Dougherty (Matej Hajek), SH, 16:32
OCB – Neuhold, 11:47
OCB – St. Onge, 9:55
OCB – Koch, 7:32
OCB – Lukas Narovec, SH, 5:11
OCB – Koch, 2:41
OCB – Hajek, 1:44
OCB – St. Onge, 13:30
OCB – Cache Bullard, 2:48
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