Hockey: Steamboat Sailors sink Aspen, 3-2 |

Hockey: Steamboat Sailors sink Aspen, 3-2

Luke Graham
Steamboat Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS ” In some sick way Steamboat Springs goaltender Matt Dawes relished the chance of facing a barrage of shots.

In fact, the junior wanted to see as many as he could. Dawes got plenty of opportunities Friday against Aspen, turning away 51 of 53 shots in helping Steamboat get a little redemption against an Aspen team it went 0-3 against last year.

The Sailors overcame an early two-goal deficit and used a Grant Ehrick goal 3:13 into overtime to come away from the opening night of the King of the Mountain Tournament with a 3-2 overtime win.

“I had no clue I was going to get 53. “I’ve never had that many shots and let in that few goals,” Dawes said. “I took a deep breath and was thinking this is why I play hockey. I was thinking this is the exact position I want to be in. Tie game, five minutes to go ” it’s the most fun thing ever.”

Dawes was at his best in a lopsided third period. The Sailors goalie turned away all 28 shots he faced in the period, including six in the last minute. While Steamboat could only manage three shots in the third, the Sailors got the best look of the period.

Shorthanded and down 2-1, Steamboat sophomore Jake Bearss blocked a shot at the point. Bearss then worked the puck up the right side before feeding Cody Fritz for the equalizer at the 8:06 mark.

In the extra frame, the two teams skated 4-on-4 for more than a minute. Just as Aspen went on the power play, Ehrick found his opportunity.

“I had two guys on me in the corner,” Ehrick said. “I leaned into one of them as I was coming around and ripped it. I was just hoping it was going in.”

Early on it looked like the Skiers ” who opened the season ranked No. 4 in the state ” would skate away with an easy win. Murphy Frywald opened the scoring 8:23 in when he put home a Daniel Doremus rebound to give Aspen a 1-0 lead. The Skiers pushed their lead to 2-0 early in the second period when they caught the Sailors on a line change.

Doremus ” who was fifth in the state in scoring last year ” picked up the puck on a breakaway and put the puck over Dawes’ right shoulder.

“I think we outshot them about 2 to 1,” Aspen coach Al Butler said. “Really you think you should come away with a victory, but they had some opportunities and they capitalized. But I come away knowing they got heart, they got grit and they got determination.”

Fritz cut the lead to 2-1 late in the second period after Ian Anderson skated behind the Aspen net and fired one into the crease. That’s when Dawes took the game over. Aspen had multiple chances from point blank in the third period, but each time Dawes turned them away.

“In between the third period and overtime I told our guys ‘this would be the most fun you’ve ever had. Overtime in a tournament. Win or lose just play your heart out,'” Dawes said. “I think that just added to the height of play we were on.”

Steamboat continues play at 10:15 a.m. today against Battle Mountain. The team then plays at 6:15 p.m. against Summit.

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