AHS closes out season with wins | AspenTimes.com

AHS closes out season with wins

Steve Benson
Aspen Times Staff Writer

The Aspen High hockey team finished the regular season with a bang this weekend, beating Steamboat 4-2 Friday and Rampart 11-4 Saturday.

The back-to-back victories will likely strengthen Aspen’s seeding position in this weekend’s state playoff tournament, which begins Friday night.

Senior Sean French led the way with five goals over the weekend, including a hat trick Saturday and a game-clinching, beautiful one-timer in the third period Friday.

Steamboat and Aspen played tight, close hockey for two periods Friday night, before the Skiers broke a 2-2 tie with two goals in the third.

Steamboat came out very physical ” playing the man rather than the puck ” which may have led to its demise.

“That’s what they tried to do to us [intense checking], and it didn’t work,” Aspen coach Dennis Maruk said.

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The intense physical nature of Steamboat’s play led to several penalties, and Aspen capitalized with two power-play goals.

“We’ve been working on [our power play],” Maruk said. “And there’s the difference in the game ” two power-play goals.”

Tyler Horn, a junior, and Sam Harder, a sophomore, scored the other two goals Friday, with French, Jordan Friedland, Lincoln Neiley and David Goldberg each picking up an assist. Harder also had an assist.

Goldberg, a sophomore, exploded Saturday night with a hat trick to complement French’s. Horn followed with two goals.

The final seeding positions, and opening-round schedule for the 16-team state playoffs will be announced this week, and Maruk feels good about his squad.

“We’re pretty strong with two lines. If we can control our turnovers and giveaways, we can compete with anybody. What’s caused us to lose games is when they’re not patient ” they need to control the puck and not throw it away.”

Aspen is anchored by two strong goalies in junior Oliver Martineau and sophomore JoJo Hernandez.

“They’ve been pretty successful, both of them,” Maruk said. “I haven’t decided on which one is going to play Friday.”

Aspen will either play in Vail, Denver or Colorado Springs in the opening round of the playoffs Friday night. The tournament wraps up Saturday.

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