In its opening game Friday night, Steamboat Springs' hockey team trounced Battle Mountain.
The following night, Battle Mountain trounced the Summit High Tigers.
And so the teams faced off in Monday night's home opener, with the Steamboat Sailors likely score-watching (and thinking Summit wasn't a force to be reckoned with) and with the Tigers looking for vengeance.
Summit head coach Chris Ruhly said his team looked better Monday night, but not good enough for the win, as the team moved to 0-3 on the season in a 4-2 loss to the Sailors. The team showed progress compared to the 7-2 resounding loss it suffered on Saturday night on Battle Mountain ice.
Summit's Karl Olsson-deem kicked off the scoring with a power play goal assisted by Luke Egging roughly six minutes into the game. Not long after, Matt Hale answered with the first of his two goals for the Sailors, assisted by Ryan Walker and Jackson Perry.
Play was largely concentrated around Summit goalie Reiker Edstrom, with the keeper making a total of 40 saves on 44 shots on goal. Meanwhile, the Tigers had a low shooting percentage but high accuracy, firing 10 shots in the first and second periods and sinking two of those goals.
After plenty of back and forth in the second period, Jack Nevicosi fired one in off Peter Grotemeyer's and Sean Farley's passes, but the Sailors responded with a shot through the weeds that snuck past Edstrom.
And then the mistakes began. The tired Tigers couldn't keep the Sailors at bay, and couldn't get the puck into the Sailor third of the ice, allowing 17 shots on goal - one or two of which were destined to find the back of the net.
Steamboat's Ben Warton first scored off Christian Ramirez and Quinn Cain, while Matt Hale sealed the deal with an unassisted goal. Summit, faced with Steamboat's calm, collected, patient play, wasn't able to recover after the score reached 4-2.
"We're working on finishing games and outworking other teams," Ruhly said. "The work ethic was there (this game); (the Sailors) just capitalized on a few of our mistakes."
The coach wants his players to improve upon the roughly 20 shots on goal they've had in each of the first three games. Opponents have at least doubled that number - and the score reflects that.
He is proud of the shot quality, though. The first goal was picture-perfect, with Egging taking a hard, low shot and Olssom-deem in place to ensure the score.
"We're taking baby steps" to improve and learn as a team, Ruhly said. "Steamboat is a good club. We came out really to avenge ourselves from how terribly we played last game."
On Saturday, Summit relinquished the Shrine Pass trophy in a 7-2 loss to the Battle Mountain Huskies, leaving the ice with a resounding loss and a reputation to avenge.
"It was an absolutely terrible display of hockey, an absolute awful game by the Tiger team," Ruhly said. "We played with very little passion, very little pride. The Shrine Pass trophy goes back to Battle Mountain for the first time in about 5 or 6 years. I'm extremely disappointed and unhappy with the way we played. It's one thing to lose, but it's one thing to lose when you don't work very hard."
Battle Mountain tallied 45 shots on goal to Summit's 29, and kept Summit scoreless through the first and second periods. Luke Egging scored an unassisted power play goal 12 minutes into the third period, followed not long after by senior captain Sean Farley's unassisted goal with about 4 minutes left in the game. Goalies Wyatt Dickerson and Reiker Edstrom shared the tending duties, with 13 and 25 saves, respectively.