Steamboat Braves fall in state title match

It took two periods of overtime play, but when it was all said and done, the Littleton Hawks skated off the ice at the Apex Ice Arena in Jefferson County with the Federation Cup.

The cup goes to the top Bantam A team in the state of Colorado and Littleton earned it with a 3-2 win over the Steamboat Braves.

The Steamboat Bantam A team put up a valiant fight but lost the state title in the 3-2 contest.

Steamboat fell behind early, but Casey Earp tied the game in the first period after getting an assist from Philip Bush.

Littleton regained the lead in the second period and would hold it until the final minutes of the third.

But with time running out, Matt LeGrice passed the puck to Tucker Greene, who set up Nick Pruett for the game-tying score.

The game went to a first overtime period, where the two teams skated with five players each, and then onto a second overtime period, when the teams were dropped to four-on-four. But early in that final period, Littleton netted the winning goal. Despite the loss, Braves goalkeeper Tim Higbee finished the game with 18 saves on 21 shots.

Steamboat finished the season with a 25-14-1 record and won the Continental Divide Youth Hockey League to earn the shot at winning a state title.

The Littleton Hawks topped the Colorado Competitive League to earn the right to play in the big game.

The Steamboat team will wrap up the season March 30-April 1 at the Ski Town Hockey Festival.

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