Mother Puckers, Rockets heat up Ice Garden |

Mother Puckers, Rockets heat up Ice Garden

Aspen Times Staff Report

One week after a 1-1 road trip to the Front Range that ran their season record to 10-9, the Aspen Mother Puckers women’s hockey team returned to Aspen last weekend and dropped two heated, one-goal games to the Rocky Mountain Rockets in the not so friendly confines of the Aspen Ice Garden.

The Puckers took a shorthanded squad to Boulder March 3 to tangle with the Lady Buffs. They entered the third period tied 2-2, but ultimately Boulder’s fresh legs were too much for a tired Aspen bunch, and the Lady Buffs skated to a 4-3 win.

The next day, however, the Puckers rebounded in a big way by outshooting the University of Denver 40-7 en route to a 3-0 shutout victory.

The win over Denver had the Puckers confidence running high as they entered last weekend’s action, but they were met with an equally determined and talented Rockets team.

The Rockets drew first blood midway through the first period in game one on Saturday, but Aspen answered right back with a goal by Cathy Crum off a pass from Susie Theriot.

In a see-saw battle, the Rockets scored twice in the second period to take a 3-1 lead.

An unassisted goal by Elizabeth Easter cut Aspen’s deficit to one, but the Rockets answered with a goal of their own to stem the Aspen comeback. A late Puckers goal by Susie Theriot off an assist by Jenny Fadale kept Aspen close, but the Rockets were able to hold on for the 4-3 win.

Rebecca Riggs made 20 saves, some of the amazing variety, in net for the Puckers.

Sunday night, despite the loss of Easter to a head injury late in Saturday’s game, the Puckers came out and took an early lead over the Rockets. Theriot replaced Easter at center and finished the game with a hat trick. Strong forechecking by Monda Birkholz, Martina Navratilova and Crum, all of whom assisted on Theriot’s goals, staked Aspen to a 3-2 lead after two periods.

Aspen extended the lead to 4-3 midway through the third, with Teri Christensen scoring off a rebound of a Rachel Dayton shot to account for the other Puckers goal. But the Rockets were able to solve the stingy Aspen defense and tied the game with just six minutes remaining. The Puckers had their chances down the stretch but couldn’t find the net, and when the Rockets scored a breakaway goal with a mere 17 seconds to play, Aspen found itself on the short end of a heartbreaking 5-4 loss.

Margo Cuttitta was outstanding in goal for the Puckers in the setback, stopping 23 Rockets shots.

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