Minor league hockey team to play in Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Minor league hockey team to play in Aspen

Abby Margulis
Special to The Aspen Times

The Denver Cutthroats minor league hockey team will take its first Colorado tour with games in Aspen in January.

The team will face the Tulsa Oilers at the Lewis Ice Arena in Aspen on Jan. 3 and Jan. 4.

The Denver Coliseum, the club's home arena, will be closed to the team as the National Western Stock Show takes over for the month.

The tour was first discussed at the conclusion of last season, and the organization decided to pursue Aspen as a host city in the late spring.

President and general manager Ben Rifkin said he wants to bring the team to communities around Colorado that have ties to hockey.

Aspen hit the team's radar with its long history of youth and adult hockey programs, the annual Red Wings Alumni game and its desirable location, he said.

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The team also will play in Vail during January.

The minor-league tour will offer locals and visitors the chance to experience professional hockey in person.

The team will offer a youth hockey clinic in Aspen with their coaches, both current and former NHL players, in addition to the two scheduled games.

Shaun Hathaway, the new Aspen Junior Hockey director, is excited for the exposure the Cutthroats will bring to this already established hockey community.

"It puts things in perspective to people who have not been exposed to hockey at this level, up close and personal," he said. "It reflects that Aspen is a leader in hockey as well as the culture of hockey."

The Cutthroats hope not only to bring home new fans, but also hope to support more children and teens as they aim to play competitive hockey.

"(This opportunity will) hopefully be inspiring to the kids that want to pursue hockey as the sport, their passion," Hathaway said.

Tickets will go on sale for the tour beginning in November. There will be approximately 1,000 seats available for the games in Aspen and in Vail.

Abby Margulis is an editorial intern working at The Aspen Times. She is a junior at DePauw University in Indiana.