Sailors top Huskies in hockey |

Sailors top Huskies in hockey

Luke Graham
Vail, CO Colorado
Battle Mountain's Cole Caynoski Michael Samuelson attempts to clear the puck from behind the Huskies net in the first period of Wednesday night's hockey game against the Sailors in Steamboat Springs.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – As far as debuts go, that was pretty darn good, Brent Tollar.-

The first-year Steamboat Springs High School hockey coach preached and talked about a relentless movement of the puck, cycling it as one unit and winning battles prior to Wednesday’s game against Battle Mountain.-

If you have your checkmarks at home, Steamboat accomplished all of that in a tidy 8-2 win.-

“Yeah there were some nerves,” Tollar said of his debut. “You know, first game, new coach, new kids. But we got a lot of movement. They really bought in that we all move together. We all move the puck.”-

It turned out to be a surgeon’s clinic in the neutral zone. Steamboat put up a second residence between the blue lines, trapping the puck and limiting anything Battle Mountain could do.-

When the Sailors did get it in the offensive zone, they seemed to win every puck. Of the team’s eight goals, five came from right in front of the net.-

“They scored around the net. We’ve got to be better there,” Huskies coach Gary Defina said. “The game is won and lost at the net and that’s where we lost it.”-

Defensemen Ryan Walker and Christian Ramirez got the scoring going in the first period on a pair of near identical shots. Each rifled shots from just inside the blue line to give Steamboat a 2-0 lead.-

The biggest play, however, came late in the first period when Sailors goaltender Trent Trask – unchallenged to that point – stopped a Battle Mountain breakaway in the waining seconds to keep it at 2-0.-

“Talk about setting the pace,” Tollar said. “That’s a huge save. We came out reinvigorated.”-

Steamboat all but decided the game 59 seconds into the second period. Jarret Walt pounded one home in front of the net and Ben Wharton followed on a rebound to double the Sailors lead one shift into the second period.-

“That crushed us,” Defina said.-

Wharton would add two more goals for a hat trick and Michael Samuelson and Ramirez added third period goals for the final result.-

The Huskies got tallies from Hunter Henderson and a short handed goal from Bjorn Bredeson.-

“We just put constant pressure on,” Wharton said. “We controlled the game and played really well.”-

While it’s just the first game, in a rivalry lush with chippy play, Steamboat deployed its new attack.-

And if it’s any indication, the Sailors could be a tough out for anyone.-

“I don’t think any team will think we won’t come out and play hard,” said Tollar, whose team outshot the Huskies 49-20. “I want the rest of the state to look at us as a blue collar team.”-

Support Local Journalism