There was steam on the ice in Phoenix during Martin Luther King weekend.
The Durango Area Youth Hockey Association’s Steamers PeeWee team of kids age 11 and 12 won the Cactus Cup tournament in Phoenix. The Steamers played five games in four days and started action with an 8-2 win against the Santa Clara Blackhawks. The Durango kids then tied the Junior Sundevils of Phoenix 2-2 and tied the Junior Eagles Red of Fort Collins 3-3.
In a rematch against the Junior Eagles Red, Durango’s team won 5-1 to earn its place in the championship game.
Martin Luther King Day morning, Durango beat the Junior Eagles Blue team 3-2 to win the title.
Henry Howe led Durango with 13 goals in the five games. Howe also had three assists, as did Mikael Hofmann, Sawyer Jones and Mason Rhodus. Evan Brock led the Steamers between the goal pipes with 46 saves.
The next weekend, the Steamers took on some in-state talent with games against Craig and Grand Junction. Durango beat Craig 10-5, as Bryson Quimby came up with eight saves. Connor Jones and Brendan Johnson had two goals each, while Landon Jeep and Sebastian Rohn each had assists.
Durango then beat Craig 8-1, as Wyatt Bartel made 21 saves. Howe and Johnson had two goals each, while Johnson had three assists.
Against Grand Junction’s Cougars, Durango won 8-5 with 19 saves from Brock. Jones had four goals, while Howe had three. Luke Fowler and Howe each had two assists. In the second game at Grand Junction, the Steamers won 8-5 behind 17 Bartel saves. Howe and Johnson each had two goals, while Johnson and Bryson Quimy each had two assists.
After traveling the region in recent weeks, the peewees have earned a much-deserved rest weekend before a trip Feb. 9 to Telluride.