Aspen Leafs bid for title in inaugural hockey season | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Leafs bid for title in inaugural hockey season

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

The Aspen Leafs will bid for the championship this week in the inaugural season of the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League.

The final four in the RMJHL playoffs hit the ice at the Air Force Academy for the semifinals Thursday. The championship will be played today at the Air Force Academy.

The Aspen Leafs entered the final four as the No. 2 seed from the regular season of the 20-and-under league. The Leafs posted a 34-6 regular-season record, falling by one point to Pikes Peak. With identical records, an extra point for an overtime loss provided the Pikes Peak Miners with the top seed.

Aspen was scheduled to play No. 3 seed Breckenridge in one semifinal.

No. 1 Pikes Peak was set to take on No. 4 seed Colorado Rampage in the other semi.

The Rampage defated the Colorado Thiunderbirds two games to one in the first round of the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League playoffs last weekend.

The Aspen Leafs defeated the Breckenridge Bucks in 6 of 8 games this season.

The Bucks held serve last weekend, taking two games from the Grand Junction Glacier Yetis.

“We stuck to our systems both games, played as a team, shot the puck a lot, and our goaltending was sensational,” Bucks head coach Jesse Davis said.

The Colorado Rampage upset the higher-seeded Colorado Thunderbirds in their three-game series.

Rampage head coach J.J. Crew said he was thrilled with his team’s effort.

“I thought both teams played extremely hard throughout the entire weekend. It was truly exciting to be a part of — the hockey was very competitive, which is what you expect in the playoffs,” Crew said. “Our special teams play from Friday night to Sunday’s game improved tremendously and ultimately was the difference. We received solid goaltending in net from Landon Anderson and multiple guys contributed offensively to secure the series. It was a total team effort.”

The Aspen Leafs are coached by Jay Miller.

Shaun Hathaway, director of Aspen Junior Hockey, is the head of the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League.

Two more members of the Aspen Leafs have been called up to the next level of hockey.

Forward Hayden Knight and defenseman Willy Doremus both were called up to the Coquitlam Express in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). Knight (28 games, 20 goals, 31 assists) has been productive for the Leafs all season.

Doremus (14 games, 11 goals, 14 assists) was a late addition after a trade from Chicago. The former Aspen Junior Hockey standout quickly established himself as one of the top defensemen in the RMJHL, prompting the call.


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