Sailor hockey pulls dramatic upset of No. 7 Resurrection Christian
Steamboat Springs — Jackson Draper didn’t particularly enjoy the final 90 seconds of regulation against Resurrection Christian on Saturday. The senior goalie for the Steamboat Springs High School hockey team was pulled from net in a desperation move with the Sailors trailing by a goal and hope running out.
“Before we scored, it was pretty stressful,” Draper said. “They could just ice the puck and luckily get it in the net. But we kept it in the zone, and a couple big plays happened, and we put it in the back of the net.”
It was senior captain Harry Wilson’s goal with 10 seconds remaining in the third period that tied the game, and it was a goal by senior Jordan Gorr midway through the five-minute overtime period that gave Steamboat (3-0) a dramatic, come-from-behind win over the preseason No. 7-ranked Cougars, 5-4, at the NOCO Ice Center in Fort Collins.
“Head to toe, we came out and played as hard as we could with a never quit, never surrender attitude,” Steamboat coach Chris Campanelli said. “This is the most outstanding game I’ve ever been a part of.”
Fresh off a convincing 5-2 win at home over No. 10 Aspen Friday night, Campanelli was worried about his players having strong enough legs after a four-hour bus ride to compete with one of the state’s top teams. His worries proved to have foundation when, after a scoreless first period, the Cougars scored a pair of power play goals to take a 2-0 lead in the second period.
As costly as penalties were for the Sailors, it was penalties against Resurrection Christian that worked to get Steamboat back into the game. Junior Jack McNamara and senior Brenden Selby each scored on their own power play, and the two teams went to the third period tied, 2-2.
“We just kind of turned it on,” Draper said. “That feeling felt awesome. We had a lot of momentum moving into the third, and that definitely helped out at the end.”
The Cougars took a 3-2 lead early in the third, but Steamboat answered with a goal from senior Bryce Sullivan to re-tie the game. Resurrection Christian, however, responded with yet another goal to reclaim the lead, until Wilson’s dramatic goal in the final seconds forced overtime.
Draper, who finished with 50 saves, saved some of his best for overtime, helping lead to Gorr’s game winner.
Following last year’s 3-16 season, the Sailors have already matched that win total with a 3-0 start this winter, including back-to-back wins over preseason top-10 teams.
“It’s the best feeling in the world I’ve ever had as a coach,” Campanelli said. “This team is a special, special team. They don’t quit. Don’t back down. They just keep fighting. Everything about them, from head to toe, spells champion. It was nothing short of amazing.”
The Sailors are off until Friday, when they travel to Monument to face Lewis Palmer, ranked No. 9 in the preseason CHSAANow.com poll.
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