Trashmen to use varied lineup vs. NHL alums
With “Big-Time Hockey in a Small Mountain Town,” the benefit game between the NHL Alumni All-Stars and the Trashmen of Aspen, now less than a week away, it’s time to meet some of the local hockey hotshots who will be defending the honor of the Roaring Fork Valley.
Aspen’s Wily Manering, 49, the player/coach of the Trashmen, starred for the University of North Dakota before going on to play professionally for three teams in three leagues on two continents.
In addition to Manering, the Trashmen have a few other players with professional experience, highlighted by Karl Clauss, 32, of Carbondale, a 1989 draft pick of the NHL’s Washington Capitols. Clauss skated in the Norwegian Elite League and the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) after his college days at Colgate University. Eagle’s Gary Defina, 36, played for the South Shore Braves of the NFJL. Michael Gempeler, 30, a former Aspen resident currently living in Denver, also saw time in the ECHL after a standout career at Gustavus Adolphus College. The Norwegian Elite League was home for a time to Al Butler, 36, of Glenwood Springs, a former college star at Lake Superior State University. And Steve Whitmore, 36, who grew up in Aspen and lives in Aurora, Colo., skated for the University of Notre Dame before playing professional puck in Belgium.
Among the Trashmen with NCAA Division I experience are Aspen’s Hans Brucker, 32, who played for Clarkson University; former University of Wisconsin Badger Lindsey Holmbeck, 31, a resident of Carbondale; and Glenwood Springs’ TK Kwiatkowski, a former player for the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
New Castle residents Dan Cokley, 34, and Paul Muldoon, 39, have been fixtures in the Aspen Men’s Hockey League for a number of years, as have Aspen’s Jeffrey Boyd, 30, and Basalt’s Igor Lyssogor, 42, a native of St. Petersburg, Russia.
New on the valley hockey scene are the Thurston brothers. Glenn Thurston, 30, lives in Eagle, and Scott “Bugsy” Thurston, 31, resides in Gypsum. Both played college hockey at Norwich University in Vermont.
Minding the nets for the Trashmen will be Andy Doherty, 30, and Steve Mageres, 29. Doherty and Mageres both live in Glenwood and play in the Aspen Men’s Hockey League.
The game between the Trashmen and the NHL Alumni All-Stars will take place at the Aspen Ice Garden on Saturday, Feb. 19. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets to the game are $25 for adults and $10 for children under 12. Patron tickets, which include a souvenir T-shirt, are $75. Tickets can be purchased at the Wheeler Opera House box office, 920-5770.
The game will be the centerpiece of a weekend full of charity events hosted by supermodel Kim Alexis, the wife of NHL alumni captain Ron Duguay. Proceeds from the weekend’s festivities will benefit Neighbor to Neighbor, a service organization run by the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation that supports 19 local health and human service agencies.
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