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AJH Month in Review: November

By Staff, 12/01/19, 11:15PM MST


3 Boys Teams in State Top 10, Squirt B Ranked #1; 19U Girls lead Tier-2 & CGHL

Collectively the Aspen Leafs have made a strong start this fall with three boys teams ranked in the top ten  of CAHA's State rankings system.  The 19U Girls lead  Tier 2 league standings and  CGHL play.  The Aspen 10U Squirt B team is currently  ranked #1 in the State (of 27 teams).

The Aspen 19U AA Girls participated together in three competitive weekends over the past two months, starting with the 19U National Team from the Mexico Ice Hockey Federation in early October.  Aspen defeated Mexico in three straight games, providing some well needed confidence heading into the Western Regional Silver Stick tournament at the end of October.  With help from goaltender Sammie Jaworski, the team shut out three of its four pool play opponents (8-0 over Littleton, 3-0 over Idaho, and 3-0 over Boulder).  In the playoff round, Aspen's title run was halted with a tough 3-0 rematch loss against the Lady Roughriders (Boulder).  In CAHA Tier-2 league play hosted by Aspen in mid-November, the Leafs colors shined bright as they concluded event one (of four total) in first place with a 2-0-1 record (5-0 win over Littleton, 4-0 over Select and a 1-1 tie against Boulder).  

Aspen 19U A Girls  began CGHL play in in Denver facing off twice against both Hyland Hills and the Colorado Select, sweeping both opponents in four total games.  The 4-0 start continues the 19U team's undefeated record that dates back to the 2017-18 season.  In early November the  team completed a four game sweep and claimed the Steamboat Adele Dombrowski Tournament championship.  On December 14 and 15, Aspen will play a four-game series at home against longtime  rival Summit.  As two-time defending League and State champions, they remain the only undefeated 19U team in the CGHL this season.

The 15U A Girls begin league play December 14/15, hosting four home games against Telluride.  In the meantime, they plan to hit the  road for a three game series December 7/8 against the Colorado Select and Boulder (twice), both members of the CGHL Front Range Division.  The cross division games won't count in the CGHL Mountain Division standings, however, it will provide Aspen the opportunity to get some competitive play under their belt before divisional games at home December 14.  At the Adel Dombrowski tournament in Steamboat (November 8-10), the team struggled to claim their identity and get into a rhythm, dropping four straight in pool play action (two to rival Steamboat, one to Utah and one to Vail).  As the Aspen Times photographer Kelsey Brunner plans to stay around this team all season, keep your eye on their progression.

The Aspen 14U AA Girls competed in the Western Regional Silver Stick Tournament and event #1 (of three) in the CAHA Tier-2 League series on their home ice in Aspen.  At Silver Sticks, the Leafs began play with a 5-1 victory over the Kansas City Storm.  In the remaining three pool play games, Aspen dropped close contests against league opponents Littleton, Select, and Boulder.  During the first league event in Aspen (Novemeber 15-17), the Leafs finished 1-2-1, collecting three (3) important league points with a 5-1 win over the Select and 1-1 tie against Littleton.  The second 14U AA CAHA Tier-2 event is scheduled for mid-January in Boulder.

The Leafs 14U Bantam A team started the season with a 1-2-1 Fall Face-off final record, defeating the Utah Jr. Grizzlies 3-1 and tying the Salt Lake City Lightning 3-3. At the Vail Sportsmanship Tournament, the team struggled, dropping four straight to two Littleton teams, Arvada, and Vail.  In WCHL play, Aspen hosted West Elk for a pair of league games the week before Thanksgiving break.  Both contests were back and fourth and close, however the Leafs were unable to pull off a win, dropping the series against the Wolverines with 3-4 and 3-5 losses.  In the first game, the team lost some scoring punch when one of their quick and agile forwards (Cooper Russell) sustained a season ending lower body injury.  The team looks to regroup and get some league points on the board  December 8 when they face-off against Telluride for a pair of home WCHL games.   

The 12U Peewee A team is currently ranked #7 (of 21) by the CAHA State rankings system.  They will have an opportunity to move up significantly December 7/8 with three road games against #1 ranked West Elk in Gunnison.  The Leafs started the season making a strong statement with a  semi final appearance at the Fall Face-off.  After defeating New Mexico 4-3 and Littleton 3-2, and tying the Utah Golden Eagles 4-4, Aspen fell to the eventual champions (Utah Jr. Grizzlies) 5-1.  In Vail at the Sportsmanship Tournament, Aspen started fast with dominating wins over Littleton (10-1) and Arvada (7-0).  In the next two pool play games with a light roster,  Aspen dropped two heartbreakers to Steamboat and Glenwood.  Based on winning the tournament tie breaker, Aspen advanced to to the semi finals as the #3 seed only to give up an early 4-0 lead en route to a tough 5-4 loss against league rival West Elk, ending their tournament run.  Prior to Thanksgiving break, the Leafs began their WCHL campaign with a three-game home sweep over the Summit Lightning (4-1, 5-0, 6-3). 

On December 1, the CAHA State rankings system listed the Aspen Leafs 12U Peewee B team #13 (of 25).   The Leafs had a rough start at the Fall Face-off, dropping four straight games against the Colorado Rampage, Arapahoe Warriors, Salt Lake City Lightning and the Colorado Springs Tigers.  Three weeks later at the Vail Sportsmanship tournament, Aspen showed marked improvement.  After a tough 1-6 loss to Littleton to start the weekend, the Leafs registered wins over the Lakewood Lakers (3-2) and the Colorado Select (2-1), and  tied league rival Steamboat (1-1).  In WCHL action, Aspen sits in first place after earning six points from  three convincing wins over Glenwood (10-4, 7-1, and 6-2).  The team returns to action December 15 at home for a pair of WCHL games against Telluride.  

The Aspen Leafs 12U A Girls team played eight tournament games in two weeks at the Western Regional Silver Stick tournament in Westminster and the Adele Dombrowksi tournament in Steamboat.  At the Promenade Ice Center, Aspen dropped three straight to Anaheim, Krivo and Boulder before defeating Hyland Hlls the final day 6-4.  In Steamboat, Aspen defeated the host club 5-1 before dropping two straight to Vail and Krivo.  In a rematch against  host Steamboat the final day, Aspen would  fall short by a goal.  On December 7 and 8, the Leafs begin CGHL action with four home games against Mountain Division rival Telluride.  

After a solid start at the Fall Face-off, Vail Sportsmanship tournament, and week one of WCHL action, the Leafs 10U Squirt A team finished November ranked #6 (of 22 teams) in the State by CAHA.  This included October wins at home against New Mexico (4-2) and the Colorado Rampage (5-4), and a 1-1 tie against Boulder.  In Vail, Aspen advanced to the semi-final round with wins over Glenwood (9-4), Vail (4-2) and Krivo (7-3),  Carrying a 1-1 tie into the final period against Littleton, the Leafs crumbled under the pressure giving up four straight goals and a chance to play for a championship.  In between the Aspen and Vail tournaments, the Leafs banked six WCHL points after sweeping Glenwood in three games by a 31-6 margin.  Telluride comes to Aspen December 15 for a pair of league games to round out the 2019 schedule.  

On December 1, the Aspen Leafs 10U Squirt B team was ranked #1 (of 27 teams) in the State by CAHA.  This is the first time in CAHA State rankings history that an Aspen team achieved the top spot.  The Leafs defeated the Colorado Rampage 12-0 and Littleton 9-4 at the Fall Face-off, and knocked off Glenwood 6-1 and Vail 9-3 at the Sportsmanship tournament.  In WCHL play on November 8, the Leafs defeated Glenwood 9-1 gaining two league points.  Vail, who is currently ranked #19 in the State,  visits Aspen December 8 for a pair of important league games.  Telluride (#13) arrives the following weekend for two more WCHL games to round out the 2019 schedule.