More Steamboat youth hockey teams win state titles | SteamboatToday.com
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More Steamboat youth hockey teams win state titles

The Steamboat Stampede 14-under team won the Colorado Amateur Hockey Association state title last weekend. Four Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey Association teams have brought home titles this year.
Ryan Dingle/Courtesy photo

The Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey Association has had four teams bring home state titles with the 14-under and 12-under teams earning championships last weekend.

The U12 team was an underdog going into the playoffs. Steamboat was ranked No. 7 out of eight teams in the tournament, but Steamboat was armed with a great plan.

“We stressed to them we’re not going to accomplish anything as individuals,” said coach Scott Sulentich. “If we play as a team, we’re tough — we can compete with anybody as a team. We did and went out and proved it. They played great. I’m super proud of them.”



As the seventh seed, the team had a tough road in the state playoffs.

In the round-robin games, Steamboat won over the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4-ranked teams.



That sent Steamboat to the semifinals, which Steamboat won 8-4. Then in the final, Steamboat won 5-2 over Lafayette.

The team started the season with many “raw” and inexperienced players, according to Sulentich. The players weren’t used to the game or each other.

The Steamboat Stampede 12-under team won the Colorado Amateur Hockey Association state title last weekend. Four Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey Association teams have brought home titles this year.
Ryan Dingle/Courtesy photo

“They really grew throughout the year and learned to play together as a team in a team sport to be successful to accomplish their goal, which was winning a state championship,” Sulentich said. “At the end of the season, they learned to believe in themselves.”

The U14 team was the opposite. Steamboat started the season strong with a tournament win, which gave the team confidence they could be a contender from the beginning.

Despite some ups and downs, Steamboat won the league title and advanced to the state tournament.

Head coach Jake Werner said the first round-robin game at state against rival Glenwood Springs was one of the best his team played all year. Steamboat won 4-0.

“They had beaten us in the final of a tournament in Littleton at the end of the regular season, so we wanted some payback for that,” Werner said.

Next Steamboat tied against Summit and Foothills to win the round-robin and advance to the finals. Steamboat won 5-0 over Summit to secure the state title.

“We played our best game of the year,” Werner said. “It was a full team effort … We came out and played really good, smart, disciplined hockey from the beginning. It was a great time for us to play our best game of the season.”


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