Welcome to the second edition of the 2017-18 AJH Weekend Wrap-Up, featuring game summaries from the weekend of December 9-10.
On Saturday night, the 19U AA Leafs took to home ice for the first CAHA Tier-2 League series of the season. Aspen Junior Hockey could have charged admission for what was a highly energetic and fast paced contest against the rough and tumble Littleton Hawks. The mountain girls were simply impressive. With only three 19U AA teams in the state, Aspen proved itself to be a legitimate contender for a national championship tournament berth, which will be determined during the state a and regional playoffs in March. Without a doubt, collectively they are that good. Facing a physically aggressive and skilled opponent, Gracie Eland opened the scoring on the power play at the 10:28 mark of the first period. Jasmine Riebel followed up just over four minutes later for her first of two on the night. In the second period the Leafs took their game to a higher level with an electrifying display of speed and confidence. In the first four minutes, both Olivia Carr and Mia Ammon recorded power-play goals; Anika Anderson followed up late in the period, stretching the Aspen lead to 5-0. Riebel finished the Leafs scoring with an empty net goal, and goaltender Sonya Benson shut the door for the 6-1 win. Stopping 30 shots (.968 save percentage), Benson legitimized her claim as one of the top 19U goalies in the state. On Sunday in game-2 against Littleton, Aspen completed the sweep in comeback fashion with three third period goals (two on the power play). Carr started the scoring midway through the first period. After giving up two goals in the second period, Aspen stormed back with goals from Sophia Fondl, Katie Yocum, and Kathryn Guerrieri. Goaltender Sonya Benson shut the Hawks out in the final period , handling 5 of her game total 21 shots to claim the 4-2 victory.
The Leafs continued their winning ways, sweeping the Telluride Lizard Heads with two dominating performances. On Saturday, Aspen rattled off 47 shots en route to an 8-1 victory. In an impressive team win, seven different players scored, including: Kaelin Harris (recorded two goals),Maddy Rubinoff, Lillian Cassidy, Charlotte Howie, Katie Yocum, and Kristen Spang. On Sunday, the Leafs flexed their muscles and outshot Telluride 57-12 for a 6-1 win. Like Saturday, the Leafs scoring was balanced. Juna Rettig notched her first goal on the weekend, and Howie netted two. Yocum, Spang, and Rubinoff each tallied one goal. Jaworski recorded her sixth win this season in net, finishing the weekend with 13 total saves. Sonya Benson split game two and registered six saves on six shots. With the sweep, Aspen moves into sole possession of second place in the MSGHL with 10 points (5-1). Next weekend they travel to face first place New Mexico (6-0) in Santa Fe for two important league games.
On Saturday the Skiers travelled to Colorado Springs for a league game against the Cheyenne Mountain Indians. Aspen took a 3-2 lead into the first intermission with goals from Jackson Holbeck, Max Ufkes and Henry Morrison. In the second period, the Aspen offense exploded with six goals scored by Jordan Hornburg, Liam Rigney, Dominic Lanese, John Jensen, and two by Jamison Fuentes. Ufkes notched his second on the game on the power play in the third period, and Gage Redman made 10 total saves in the 10-2 Skier win. Aspen hosts Battle Mountain in their first home game this season on Tuesday night (6:30) at Lewis Arena.
Also on Saturday, the JV Skiers travelled to Colorado Springs to face off against Cheyenne Mountain JV for game one of thirteen CHSAA league contests. From the drop of the puck, Aspen completely outmatched the Indians, outshooting them 31-3 and outscoring them 10-0. Paulino Valdes and Keaton Miller both scored twice along with goals by Riley Jonson, Ozzy Benson, JD Glenn, Connor Chesner, Connor Allen, and Ben Obrien. Goaltender Logan Soderberg was credited with the shut out and the win.
The 16U AA team faced off Saturday against the famous Aspen Mother Puckers, which included AJH goaltending coordinator and former Wisconsin Badger standout Jennifer Banner in net. Although the 16U AA’s peppered Coach Banner with 33 shots, only Casey Chesner was able to light the lamp, netting two goals in the game. In the sanctioned CAHA contest, the Mother Puckers, who won the WACH league championship last season, rolled to a 7-2 victory.
The Leafs travelled to Littleton for the second CAHA Tier-2 League event against the Hawks, Lady Roughriders, and New Mexico Mustangs. Aspen finished with a win (4-2) and two losses (0-5 vs. Littleton and 1-4 vs the Roughriders). In their 4-2 win against the New Mexico Mustangs, the Leafs offense registered 33 shots. In the first period, Olivia Wilson and Atlyn Ganje both scored to give the Leafs an early 2-0 lead. Aspen extended their lead in the third period when Wilson netted her second of game. Mia Seltzer iced the contest at the 10:20 mark with her first CAHA Tier-2 League goal this season.
Sometimes in hockey you simply can’t beat a team with a goaltender who’s on fire, and lightning was literally running through the Summit net minder in all three games against the visiting Leafs. In game-one Saturday, Aspen lost 4-2 in a contest even in shots. Only Brooks Bond was able to solve the Summit goalie, scoring twice in the third period with two even strength goals. In a 3-1 game-two loss on Sunday, the Leafs outshot the Lightning 26-21; Carson Miller scored the Leafs lone goal in first period. The third and final game followed the same script as the first two, except that Fisher Scott scored the two Aspen goals in a tough 4-2 loss. The team now takes a break for the holidays; returning to action on the road in Steamboat January 6-7.
In the third period of game of 1 of 3 against the Summit Lightning, Carson Miller recorded his first hat trick of the season, helping lift the Leafs to a 6-2 win. Joseph Clark, Ethan Uber and Quinn Bowden added to the scoring. In game 2, Aspen was outshot 24-17 and shutout 2-0. Goaltender Zach Small kept the game close for Leafs offense with 22 saves. In game three, a late Sunday afternoon outdoor game in Breckenridge, the Leafs outshot the Lightning 27-24, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Will Carincross scored the lone Aspen goal midway through the second period in a 4-1 loss. The team now takes a break for the holidays; returning to action on the road (with the Bantam A team) in Steamboat January 6-7.
The Leafs climbed into a tie for first place in the MSGHL with eight total league points. They gained four on the weekend by sweeping the Telluride Lizard Heads at home 5-0 and 7-2. Kylani Nakagawa registered a hat-trick on Saturday, joining CC Cassidy, Stella Scanlan, Clea Welden, Shelby Grueter, Kathleen Scobell, and Ella Zane with goals on the weekend. Goaltender Sienna Pogliano was credited with both wins and registered her second shutout this season. The Leafs travel to Santa Fe next weekend for a two game series against second place New Mexico.
The Leafs struggled on Saturday morning on the road in Glenwood. Unable to win the majority of the races to loose pucks, and lacking a sustained attack, Aspen lost the CDYHL game against the rival Grizzlies 5-0. The Leafs were outshot 30-19. They return to the ice for their first three-game home series next weekend against West Elk (December 16-17).
Facing Grand Junction, a team that had scored 32 goals in the four previous matchups, Aspen had its hands full at home for a quick two-game series on Saturday. In the first game, Austin Sherry scored on the power play midway through the third period to pull the Leafs within a goal; however, Grand Junction pulled away with an even strength and empty net talley, and handed Aspen a 4-1 loss. In game two, although the score didn’t reflect what should have been a closer outcome, Aspen was shut out 5-0. Goaltender Oscar O’Donnel-Powell was solid in both games, stopping 39 total shots in the series. On Sunday Telluride was in town to play a pair games, completing a four-game CDYHL home stand for Aspen. In a thrilling 2-2 game-one tie against the Lizard Heads, Lee Whiston scored twice and the Aspen defense held Telluride to 13 total shots. In game-two later Sunday morning, Aspen outshot Telluride 15-10 in an exciting 4-2 victory. Whiston notched his first hat trick of the season as theLeafs recorded their first CDYHL win this season.
The Aspen Leafs sent three teams this weekend to Eagle for the second Jamboree this season. From 10:30-1:15, teams from Aspen, Glenwood, Eagle, Vail, Breckenridge, and Oak Creek played in cross-ice games. All three Aspen teams worked hard and had lots of fun. Like last weekend in Glenwood, they left the ice sweaty with smiles. The Weekend Wrap Up logo this week features goaltender Tommy Zane after game one.