Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs High School hockey team pulled off one eye-popping upset this weekend. It couldn't manage a second, however, and with a 3-1 loss to Cherry Creek, the No. 3 seed in the state's high school hockey tournament, the Sailors ended their season.
"Cherry Creek is a really good team, and our kids put forth a phenomenal effort," coach Ernie Thiel said. "In the end, we ran out of gas playing at that level for that long, and we didn't get some bounces that could have gone our way.
"It was a great season, and we took it as far as we could."
Saturday's game, the tournament's quarterfinal, was tied, 1-1, into the third quarter, but there, the Bruins scored two goals within a minute of each other to take a comfortable two-goal lead.
Cherry Creek scored first, a power play goal from Garret Glaspy in the second period, but Steamboat answered a minute later with a shot from Peter Wharton. Joe Caputo and Diego Lovato then scored in a span of 28 seconds in the third period.
Friday night's huge win against Fort Collins, the No. 6 seed to Steamboat's No. 11, dulled a bit of Saturday's disappointment. The Sailors had lost to the Lambkins in their only two regular season meetings, but were eager for a third opportunity.
They took advantage of it.
"It was fantastic," Thiel said. "They were a little off guard that we actually came to play with our A game. We played the way we really wanted to play, the way we thought we could play. The kids were rock solid."
The Sailors ended the season 15-5-2.
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9