Skiers shut out Dakota Ridge | AspenTimes.com

Skiers shut out Dakota Ridge

Jon Maletz

Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times

Aspen, CO ColoradoASPEN The Aspen hockey team hopes this hot stretch continues.Less than 18 hours after disposing of defending state champ Peak to Peak for a second time this season, the Skiers overwhelmed struggling Dakota Ridge. Aspen (7-3-1) outshot the Eagles by a four-to-one margin and broke through with two goals each in the second and third periods. The Skiers, sparked by captain Ryder Fyrwald’s two goals and two assists, handed the Eagles their ninth loss of the season with a 5-0 victory.”That’s what we were hoping for, given the shot totals,” Aspen head coach Al Butler said. “These guys are well conditioned, and we didn’t let up.”

Aspen turned defense into offense to open the scoring with 3 minutes, 35 seconds remaining in the first period. One minute after killing a penalty, the Skiers attacked. Junior Gaelen Means dribbled the puck into the corner as a host of Aspen players stormed the front of the net. Rob Cronenberg found an opening, received a pass from Means, then flipped a backhanded shot over Eagles goalie Berkley Dietvorst’s pads. The Skiers outshot Dakota Ridge, 10-3, during the opening 15 minutes.Aspen took advantage of two man-up opportunities in the first six minutes of the second to pelt Dietvorst with shots from all angles. Fyrwald capitalized with nine minutes remaining. The senior, stationed to the left of the net, corralled a ricochet and fired a shot that was turned away. He controlled the rebound and somehow found an opening to stretch the lead.Less than 40 seconds later, the Skiers struck again. Ryder found some open space down the right side, then passed to Taylor Feldman who went high for the score.”The team has really started to gel and lines are working a lot better together,” Fyrwald said. “We came out focused today. Things are really working for us, and I hope that means good things for the future.”

Dakota Ridge had its opportunities, but could not break through. Following penalties by Willy Klein and Nicky Anastas with less than four minutes remaining in the second, the Eagles had a 5-on-3 advantage for a minute and a half. The skiers were able to kill the penalties, and even generated a breakaway scoring chance from Fyrwald in the process. Fyrwald could not beat Dietvorst on the one-on-one opportunity; he did, however, add a second goal one minute into the third. Fyrwald faded toward the middle of the Dakota ridge defense and received a perfect pass from Matt Cooper. Fyrwald controlled the puck, then went high to give Aspen the 4-0 advantage.Senior Andy Conarroe, on assists from Fyrwald and Cooper, scored with 10:45 remaining. The margin of victory would’ve been greater had it not been for a disallowed goal at 6:17 in the second. Referees ruled Ricky Frias’ skate was in the crease.

All-told, Aspen outshot the Eagles, 36-9, one night after firing 42 shots on goal.”The team is playing well, and hopefully we can build on that,” said Butler, whose team plays Kent Denver and Ralston Valley next weekend. “The wheels are in motion, and we’re headed in the right direction.” Jon Maletz’s e-mail address is jmaletz@aspentimes.com

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