Aspen junior hockey teams open season
The Aspen Avalanche Midget AA hockey team opened the 1999-2000 season last weekend at the Aspen Ice Garden with two games against the Littleton Hawks, a perennial rival and one of the strongest teams in the state.
In Saturday evening’s game, the Avalanche played well for its first game of the season but was stymied by some great work in the net from the Littleton goalie.
Aspen outshot the Hawks, but Littleton converted on three power play chances to win the contest 3-0.
The two teams met again in a Sunday morning thriller. Both sides came out fired up, but Aspen got the upper hand with first-period goals from Chris Erickson and Carter Hansen and established a 2-0 lead.
Littleton answered back with two goals to tie the game as the first period came to a close, and then took the lead in the second period. Tying goal Despite some furious play from both teams, the score remained at 3-2 until Hansen notched his second goal to tie the game again with just four minutes to play.
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The intensity built down the stretch until, with a mere 48 seconds to play, a Littleton shot found the back of the net and propelled the Hawks to a 4-3 win.
Aspen coaches Brett Kurtz and Tersh Jones were disappointed by the losses, but they remained very upbeat about the team’s potential for the season.
With a strong core of 13 returning players and four excellent newcomers, it is a very promising team.
The coaches were especially happy with the great goaltending turned in by Tony Prikryl and Hank Richey.
This weekend, the Avalanche will travel to Fort Collins for the annual Ice Breaker Tournament.
The Avalanche roster includes returning players Brendan Wynn (captain), Danny Brown, Chris Erickson, Mike Friedland, Jeff Flack, Oliver Garfield, Carter Hansen, David Haridim, Travis LaSalle, Bridger Smith, Jeremy Young, Tony Prikryl and Hank Richey, and newcomers Will Graham, James Ibbotson, Ry Neiley and Cody Obuhanick. Bantams batter Air Force In other Aspen Junior Hockey action, the Bantam A squad traveled to Colorado Springs to take on a larger and more physical Air Force Falcons team.
On the strength of a merciless offense and a stingy defensive effort, the Bantam As rolled to two wins over the Falcons 5-1 and 9-0.
In the first contest, Aspen got a hat trick from Sean Friedland, goals from Reid Hansen and Matt Young and two assists from Eric Strauss to skate off with the victory.
Air Force came out more physical in game two, but the effort, along with a slew of resulting penalties, did nothing to slow the Aspen attack. Power play Joey Carlson opened the scoring barrage for the Bantam A’s on a first-period power play when he tipped in a Young slapshot. From there, the goals would come fast and furious for Aspen, with Young and Carlson each carding two scores and Strauss, David Gull and Michael Reveal also scoring. Hansen, Friedland and Scott Tarbet all notched assists.
“They played great,” said Aspen coach Lindsey Holmbeck after the games. “Aspen passed well, dug in the corners and put a lot of shots on goal. They can still improve, though, especially conditioning.”
The Bantam A’s will face some stiffer competition in the AA division Nov. 5-7 during the Fall Face-Off tournament at the Aspen Ice Garden.
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