Aspen’s 19U A girls hockey team to host rival Vail for senior night
There isn’t anything quite like playing senior night against your biggest rival. The Aspen Junior Hockey 19U A girls hockey team will close out play at home Friday night by hosting Vail at Lewis Ice Arena.
Game time is set for 7:15 p.m.
“Hockey is one those sports where anything can happen. We don’t want to take them lightly,” said Aspen 19U coach Kirk Golden, who happens to be a Vail native. “Especially last home game and senior night. I think the girls will be up for it.”
The team is the de facto high school girls hockey team, and plays out of the Mountain States Girls Hockey League, where it is the defending state champion. Last season was their first title since the 2013-14 season. Coached by Beth Madsen a year ago, it was Katie Yocum who carried the 19U squad past Summit in the final.
Entering the round-robin postseason tournament as the top seed in 2018, Aspen actually lost to Vail early in the tournament. The two teams have not played yet this season.
Of the 10 teams in the MSGHL, Aspen is the only one without a loss this season, carrying an 11-0-1 record into the game with Vail. The tie came early in the season, a 2-2 draw with the Lady Roughriders, who are 12-1-1 and lead the league by two points over Aspen. Vail is 4-4-2 overall this season.
While the rivalry game will likely play front and center, the team does plan to recognize its five seniors, including Yocum and Juna Rettig, the team’s co-captains. Also playing at home for the final time are senior assistant captains Kaelin Harris, Hannah Feder and Olivia Carr.
“We have a good leadership core of five senior girls and some good young girls, as well. So it’s a good balance of young and old, veterans and rookies,” Golden said. “All the girls get along really well. Practices are a lot of fun. It’s fun to see them always having a smile on their face. That makes it easy for me as a coach.”
After Friday, Aspen is scheduled to travel to Vail for a game on Sunday. Aspen then wraps up its regular season with a pair of games on Feb. 9 at Summit.
A week after losing its home opener, the Gentlemen of Aspen Rugby Club made sure to remind its upcoming Mountain League opponents that it’ll still be a difficult test after a 52-31 win on Saturday over the Denver Barbarians.
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