A heck of a tourney | AspenTimes.com

A heck of a tourney

Dear Editor:On behalf of the Aspen Junior Hockey board of directors, as well as the entire Aspen community, I would like to give a huge thank-you to the parents and friends of Aspen Junior Hockey, the players, the coaches and assistant coaches, the staffs of the Aspen Ice Garden and the Lewis Ice Arena, the IT and electrical departments of the city of Aspen. Special thanks goes to Tim Ware, Margie Holland, Jackie Ayers, Bruce and Kathy Dreher, Debbi Ware, Mike Tierney, Andrew Neddleton, Loren Ryerson and Evan Boenning for the unbelievable number of hours they worked to put on another successful Fall Face Off hockey tournament, one that is now widely regarded as one of the premier youth hockey tournaments in the state of Colorado.During the last weekend of October and the first two weekends of November, Aspen Junior Hockey hosted the 13th annual Fall Face Off Hockey Tournament. This year, over 80 youth hockey teams with boys and girl players from 8 to 18 years old participated from as far away as Salt Lake City, Santa Fe and Dallas, playing over 170 games at the Aspen Ice Garden and the Lewis Ice Arena. With over 4,200 players, coaches, referees and family members coming to town, booking over 2,800 room nights at local lodges and hotels, it has been estimated that the Fall Face Tournament generates over $1.2 million in revenues to the businesses in Aspen during one of the slowest times in the year. Parents and friends of Aspen Junior Hockey worked over 2,100 volunteer hours to put on the tournament. In addition, officials from all Colorado’s Youth Hockey Associations visited Aspen to view a new computerized scoring system that we were selected to demonstrate for the state. The IT department from the city of Aspen was very helpful in working with us to set up the wireless components of the scoring system.There was plenty of excitement both on and off the ice throughout the tournament. The city’s electric department came to our rescue when construction workers cut the power to the Ice Garden in the middle of the first weekend of play. On the evening of the third weekend, when the Zamboni at the Ice Garden broke down, the ice staff from the Lewis drove the backup Zamboni over to the Garden, through the roundabout and in a raging blizzard, arriving in time to make ice for the next game. On the ice, while only one Aspen team (Girls U14) was able to make it to the finals, all of the championship games were taped and broadcast by GrassRoots TV, with L.J. Erspalmer, Jim True and Scott Vold doing the commentary. All in all, so many people worked and donated their volunteer time to make this years’ event a great success, we are unable to mention them all. Thanks again.Rick NewtonPresident, Aspen Junior Hockey