Defense not enough to pull off victory for Sailors hockey
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs High School senior Patrick Sumner had his hands full in the first period.
The Chaparral Wolverines (4-3) had maintained control of the puck, passing it around in the Sailors’ D-Zone and firing shots. That’s how the remainder of the game would look as the Wolverines utilized its dominant offensive attack to win 4-1.
It didn’t help that the Sailors (2-5) were down one player for five minutes after a check from behind penalty on Sailors junior Johnathon Kaminski, leaving four skaters to fend off the attacking Wolverines. That narrowed to three when a hooking penalty was called on senior Cameron Colombo.
The Sailors broke away for three shots on goal, including a close one that wedged in between the goaltender’s pads. The Wolverines charged down the ice in the final three seconds of the period, and Sumner grabbed his ninth save of the period.
But Wolverines senior Alex Harlan changed the pace in the second period, scoring within the opening minute to trigger a roaring Wolverine crowd.
The second goal for the Wolverines came short-handed as Chaparral guard Evan Crawford was called for a game delay. Senior Wolverine Zander Sakadinsky faced Sumner one-on-one on a breakaway charge down the ice, slapping the back left corner of the net.
Sailors junior Griffin Maltby saw an opening next. He broke away down the right side of the ice and drew the goaltender out of the goal. In the last second, Maltby passed the puck to his left, where senior forward David Thiel knocked in the Sailors’ first goal of the game to make it 2-1.
But the Sailors still had fewer opportunities in the second period, taking only three total shots to the Wolverines’ 15. Offensive aggression was bound to break Sumner in the second period, and if not careful, the third, also.
The teams stayed evenly penalized , except for Sailors’ Colombo, who was taken out for five minutes with eight minutes left in the third period, the second five-minute major penalty called on the Sailors. It didn’t help an already crippling defense, as Chaparral junior Simon Hertz found the back of the net one minute later, and sophomore Landen Shay added another to drive up the score 4-1 with 6 minutes and 23 seconds left.
The problem with less shots is there are less opportunities to score, and the Sailors had only hit in one of their 11 shots on goal while the Wolverines scored on four of 36.
A pile of Wolverines and Sailors formed on the ice with 4:32 left in the game. The Wolverines sat two out for cross-checking to the Sailors’ one. The Sailors were able to break down the ice, but nothing would come of it.
The Sailors face Aspen next at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5 at Howelsen Ice Arena.
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