Skiers return home for second straight shutout
December 10, 2011
ASPEN – The Aspen Skiers boys hockey team shut out the visiting Doherty Spartans, 2-0, in front of the home crowd at Lewis Ice Arena on Friday night.
The Skiers seemed to play most of the season’s first home game in the Spartans’ zone and were able to slip two goals by netminder Jared Wolf.
The first came about halfway through the second period: Seconds before a Spartans penalty was to expire, Aspen senior co-captain Boris Lindenau was able to gather a rebound and net it.
“It was a power-play goal, and we were just trying to get it on net,” Lindenau said. “The puck bounced out, and I fired it on net.”
The Skiers outshot the Spartans 26-5, but Wolf kept the game close.
“The goalie played on his head,” Lindenau said. “He did really well. We just wanted to get shots on net, and that was our game plan, and that’s what we did.”
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Toward the end of the second period, sophomore Nate Nieslanik scored an unassisted goal by flying down the boards to Wolf’s left and bouncing the puck off the goaltender’s back and into the net.
Doherty was unable to generate any pressure on Skiers goalie John Piccinati.
The Skiers entered their home opener fresh off shutting out Battle Mountain in Edwards on Dec. 3. Aspen lost its first game, at Air Academy.
Last year, the Skiers finished 4-15 overall.
“Coming off the season we had last year, being a year older and winning back-to-back games like that, both 2-0, it’s huge,” said head coach Al Butler.
Butler said he was pleased with the team’s performance but that there is still room for improvement.
“We just have to work on burying those chances from in close,” he said. “We’ll continue to work on that as the season goes on. But it’s good to see that they are getting the opportunities. You can’t score unless you are getting the opportunities.
“There’s always things we need to be working on. But it’s nice to see the puck was moving well, we put a lot of pressure on their [defense] in their zone, and we played hard from start to finish.”
Lindenau said the win is important: “This is huge. We came into this game 1-1, and we wanted to get a winning record.”
The Skiers return to the ice at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, playing host to Steamboat Springs (2-2).
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