Aspen High hockey faces `huge’ game
When you’re a rookie team in a longstanding league – like the Aspen High School hockey team this season in the Colorado Springs Metro League – rivalries don’t really exist. Not yet. Right?
Despite the fact that Aspen has never played Cheyenne Mountain, competitive fires from each school will be burning with rival intensity when they meet Friday night in Colorado Springs.
Both teams, both 6-1 in the Colorado Springs Metro League, are tied for second in the standings to Air Academy, a team Aspen is scheduled to play Feb. 3.
“Huge game for us Friday. HUGE game,” said Aspen coach Brett Kurtz. “They’re one of the best in the league so we’ll see how we measure up. And if we win this game, we’ve got a chance to win the league outright,” with a win over Air Academy.
Aspen played two games this past weekend. On Friday, a depleted Aspen team lost 7-2 to Summit County in Breckenridge. The contest was nonleague, which dropped Aspen’s overall record to 6-4.
“The score was not indicative of how the game went,” Kurtz said. “They scored three goals in the final period to eventually win the game. We just tired out.”
“We essentially had two lines,” Kurtz continued. “But with a short bench, the kids played hard and we were right in there.”
Peter MacKellar scored for Aspen, assisted by Jeff Flack. Loren Ryerson netted Aspen’s second goal, assisted by Flack and Eric Strauss. Aspen recorded 16 shots.
Goalie Chris Long played two periods for Aspen, while David Blumentritt played the final period for the Skier team. The two saw a combined 45 shots.
On Saturday, less than 24 hours after the loss to Summit, the Aspen team bounced back with a 7-0 league win over Pueblo.
Aspen recorded 19 shots on net and one goal in the first period, Kurtz said.
“The puck was in their zone the entire time and their goalie was playing well,” Kurtz said. “And much like where the night before Summit wore us down, we wore them down, their goalie especially.”
Chris Luu was given official credit for Aspen’s first goal, even though he wasn’t on the ice at the time. Unofficially, Reid Hansen scored it, assisted by Ry Neiley.
In the second period, Aspen scored five goals to put the game away. Carter Hansen scored a short-handed unassisted goal to lead things off. Jeff Flack scored Aspen’s third goal, assisted by Sean Friedland, who notched two goals later in the period.
Matt Young scored unassisted in the third to give Aspen a 7-0 win.
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At the onset of a special legislative session designed to address the extraordinary and ever-worsening devastation wrought by COVID-19 in Colorado, many elected Republicans chose to go maskless Monday inside the Capitol.