The Aspen Leafs continue to make history with unprecedented success. This chapter highlights the success of the 16U Tier-2 (AA) Girls, who just claimed their second straight Rocky Mountain District Championship. Last season the Leafs skated past the Boulder Lady Roughriders in Dallas to claim the title; this season Aspen repeated with a 3-0 victory over the Lady Roughriders in Denver. With the win, Aspen Junior Hockey will represent the Rocky Mountain District in the 2019 USA Hockey National Championship Tournament (April 5-7 in Amherst, NY).
The Leafs finished the District tournament pool play round with a 2-1 record. After defeating the Dallas Stars 3-1, in game two the Leafs gave up three goals in the first two minutes against the Lady Roughriders. Suffering a 4-2 loss seemed to be a wakeup call the team needed. In their last pool play game, Aspen rolled over the Phoenix Coyotes 8-1, setting up an epic rematch against Lady Roughirders in the finals.
After two scoreless periods in the championship game, Aspen punched their ticket to Amherst with two quick goals early in the third by Laney Martens and Casey Chesner. Charlotte Howie added an empty net tally, and goaltender Sammie Jaworski recorded her first playoff shutout. Team defense was on display throughout the game, as the Leafs held their in-state rival to only 12 total shots on net.
19U Girls Finish Second
The 19U AA team started strong in the Rocky Mountain District Tournament with with wins over Idaho 3-1 and the Littleton Hawks 3-2. In game three against the Utah, the Leafs gave up a tying goal with less than a minute left in regulation and the game winner just over minute into overtime. With a 2-1 recored, Aspen advanced to the championship game, facing off against Idaho.
In the finals, the Leafs struggled to capitalize on scoring opportunities and their offense was held scoreless for the first time this season. Idaho found the back of net late in the second period and late in the third for a two goal lead. They would add an empty net goal with a second remaining to end Aspen's season.