Aspen girls hockey team wins California tourney
Aspen Junior Hockey’s U12 girls team took home top honors at the 11th annual MLK Tournament in San Jose, Calif., on Jan. 20.
The tournament, hosted by the San Jose Junior Sharks Hockey Club, draws select teams from all over the United States and Canada. This was the first out-of-state tournament appearance for the Aspen team, which is sponsored by Thurston Kitchen and Bath and Elliot Yeary Gallery of Fine Arts.
The Aspen girls, coached by Missy Schlaff, Coley Cassidy and Keith Howie, won the championship on Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a 6-1 victory over the L.A. Junior Kings.
Elsa Cassidy, Juna Rettig, Olivia Carr, Stella Scott and Ava Ostrander contributed to the Aspen scoring.
“This is a great group of girls who play as a true team,” Cassidy said. “The fact that this small valley can produce a team that can beat all-star teams from large cities is impressive. In winning back-to-back Colorado state championships, these girls have earned the right to travel out of state to compete against elite programs.
“We so appreciate the support of our community and sponsors to help these girls pursue their dreams.”
In Game 1 of the tournament, the Aspen girls shut out the San Jose Junior Sharks, 7-0.
Stella Scott led the scoring for Aspen, while Ava Ostrander and Tobey Tick also contributed to the Aspen victory.
In the second game, Aspen shut out the Anaheim Lady Ducks, also by a score of 7-0.
Stella Scott, Ava Ostrander, Tobey Tick and Elsa Cassidy all put goals on the board for Aspen.
In the final seconds of Game 3, with the score tied 1-1, the L.A. Junior Kings scored while Aspen was on a power play, defeating the Aspen girls, 2-1.
Aspen clinched a championship playoff appearance by defeating the Anaheim Lady Ducks, 8-2, with a tough attack and great passing from Sasha Brucker and Katie Yocum, who also scored a goal.
Aspen goalies Julia Krys and Lexi Ferlisi assisted the strong defense of Kaelin Harris, Lilly Cassidy, Ostrander and Charlotte Howie throughout by allowing only five goals out of 56 shots in tournament play.
On Feb. 6, the team will compete in the Cupid Classic Tournament in Minneapolis, which will feature nine of the top 25 teams in Minnesota and a team from Canada.
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