Steamboat hockey rolls Summit with Regis Jesuit next |

Steamboat hockey rolls Summit with Regis Jesuit next

Steamboat Springs junior Andrew Mitchell, left, attempts to evade the defense of Summit's Brian Curnutte in the first period of Friday's game at Howelsen Ice Arena. The Sailors won the game, 5-0.
Austin Colbert

— Adam Hoffman wasn’t going to lose the game for the Steamboat Springs High School hockey team on Friday against visiting Summit. However, as the team’s backup goalkeeper, there was pressure on him to come off the bench in the third period and preserve a shutout.

A junior who recently moved to Steamboat with his family from Chicago, Hoffman was seeing his first varsity action as a Sailor.

“It was fun getting out there finally,” Hoffman said. “They didn’t have too many opportunities, but it was good to keep it going.”

An aggressive Steamboat offense helped make things easier for Hoffman, who was able to keep the zero on the scoreboard in the Sailors’ 5-0 win over the winless Tigers inside the Howelsen Ice Arena.

The win is already the fourth for Steamboat, which only won three games all of last season.

“We had a rough season last year, and it’s great to see everyone come together this year and bring out the wins,” senior wing David Cropper said. “I really thought we all hustled real hard tonight and worked as hard as we all could. We definitely deserved this win, and I’m proud of everyone on the team.”

Senior Scott Brown got the Sailors on the scoreboard with a goal less than seven minutes into the first period, a score that held through intermission. Barely 90 seconds into the second period, senior Bryce Sullivan scored to give Steamboat a 2-0 lead.

The majority of the second period was a penalty-filled disaster for both teams, with Steamboat even finding itself down five players to three for about 30 seconds. However, the Sailors were able to shut down Summit’s power play opportunities, led by the play of Cropper, and senior Jordan Gorr’s wild shot with less than a second to play in the period gave the Sailors a 3-0 lead.

“He was flying out there and applying so much pressure,” Steamboat coach Chris Campanelli said of Cropper’s defense. “Everybody contributed tonight. That was the best part of it.”

With a commanding lead entering the final period, Campanelli pulled senior starter Jackson Draper from net to give Hoffman his first opportunity. He didn’t need to do a whole lot, with Gorr and Brown each adding a second goal to give Steamboat the five-goal win.

The Sailors outshot Summit 41 to 10. It was the team’s first shutout this season.

Steamboat (4-1), ranked No. 7 in this week’s poll, will have its toughest test to date on Saturday when undefeated and No. 2-ranked Regis Jesuit visits the Yampa Valley for a 3 p.m. game. The Raiders were state semifinalists last season, going 19-1-1.

“There is a lot of energy in the locker room tonight,” Cropper said. “We are real pumped for tomorrow. We’ve been ready for this game, waiting for this game all season. We are ready to take down one of the big dogs and show them what a mountain team is made of.”

Regis Jesuit has barely been tested this season, reaching 5-0 by averaging more than eights goals a game with two shutouts. The Raiders’ closest game was a 5-2 win over current No. 6 Lewis-Palmer, which is responsible for Steamboat’s only loss this season. Regis defeated Heritage 10-2 on Friday.

“No looking back now,” Campanelli said. “We got a big monster tomorrow. We are looking forward to the challenge.”

To reach Austin Colbert, call 970-871-4204, email or follow him on Twitter @Austin_Colbert

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