Big home series for Aspen Leafs
January 7, 2016
The showdown for first place in the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League hits Aspen this weekend.
The Aspen Leafs will host the Pikes Peak Miners with first place on the line in the two-game series at the Aspen Ice Garden in downtown Aspen.
Games will be at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The Aspen Leafs pulled into a tie with the Pikes Peak club last weekend in the 20-and-under junior hockey league.
Both teams have 42 points (and 21 wins).
They have a big lead over third-place Breckenridge.
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The Aspen Leafs (21-5-0) also will have two big roster additions for the key weekend series, according to Shaun Hathaway, director of Aspen Junior Hockey.
He said Ivan Bondarenko of Russia will be rejoining the Aspen Leafs after a short call-up to the North American Hockey League.
Hathaway said Bondarenko is back in the valley to complete his final prep coursework for the NCAA Clearinghouse, which will set him up to qualify for NCAA Div. I hockey.
Bondarenko is the leading scorer in the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League in spite of missing two weeks of games.
The Aspen Leafs also will send Aspen native Willy Doremus onto the ice this weekend.
Hathaway said the Aspen Leafs acquired his rights, enabling the former Aspen High School standout to play the rest of the RMJHL season in his hometown of Aspen.
"These are really game-changers for us," Hathaway said. "It's very exciting … with the big series this weekend."