Puck to drop on hockey season | AspenTimes.com

Puck to drop on hockey season

Aspen Times Staff Report

Mites coach Hank Thurston watches his team and the girls under-12 practice before a scrimmage at Aspen Ice Garden Wednesday evening October 23, 2002. The 2002 Fall Face-off is taking place at the garden October 26-27. Paul Conrad photo.

The puck officially drops on the Aspen hockey season today with the start of the ninth annual Fall Face-Off.

Sixteen teams from around the state, including four Aspen teams, will be competing in the first installment of the Fall Face-Off in Aspen, Friday through Sunday at the Aspen Ice Garden. (Next weekend, 16 more teams will be in town for Part II of the Face-Off.)

Featuring four divisions ? Mite A (8-and-under), Peewee A and B (12-and-under) and Midget Minor (16-and-under) ? each team will play the three other teams in its division Friday and Saturday. And after the preliminary matches, the top two teams from each division advance to the finals on Sunday.

The public is invited to attend and admission is free.

“It’s the only tournament we host during the year,” said tourney director Kelly Klein. “Not only is it a big one for the local kids, it’s really the start of the season for most of the teams.

“Aspen’s a tough town to put a tournament on in, but it’s a community effort,” Klein continued. “The lodges give us discounted rates, which makes it affordable for teams to come up for the weekend. And the Mother Puckers, the Men’s Rec. League and the Skating Club all give us ice time so we can put this thing on. And then all the parents and volunteers, of course, make it happen.”