Aspen hockey falters against state’s top team |

Aspen hockey falters against state’s top team

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” Regis Jesuit center Gregg Davis was handed a gift. He made it count.

Davis hovered near the front of the net during the first period of Saturday’s game at Lewis Ice Arena as a Skiers defender hastily attempted a clear. The puck slid precariously in front of the net and right to Davis. He gathered, fired high and beat Aspen goalkeeper Zach Ware to break a scoreless tie with 1 minute, 40 seconds remaining.

The Skiers (10-6 overall, 6-4 5A Foothills) struggled to keep pace with the state’s top team from there. They handed Regis a second goal with another untimely gaffe, and the Raiders scored twice in the final period to quell all hopes of an Aspen comeback. Regis cruised to a 5-1 victory, handing the Skiers’ their first loss at home and first loss in the last 10 games.

“It was a good game and a fun game but we just made too many mistakes and they made us pay,” Skiers head coach Al Butler said. “We gave them two of their goals. You can’t really give a team like that extra opportunities.”

Ware stood tall in the opening period, thwarting multiple Regis scoring chances. He turned away 15 shots in the first 15 minutes, but was caught off guard and out of position against Davis.

The Raiders (15-0-1) wasted little time padding their lead. A mere 14 seconds into the second period, one forward controlled the face-off, knifed right up the middle of the ice and dumped the puck off to a waiting teammate for the easy tap-in. Little more than seven minutes later, Davis picked off a pass and scored a shorthanded goal.

Aspen, which was playing with a four-defender rotation for much of the game (Laker Mines was hurt early and Tommy Mines was sidelined because of a suspension), could do little to keep Regis at bay.

The Skiers didn’t capitalize on their prime chances, either. They had two 5-on-3 opportunities in the second but failed to seriously challenge Regis goalkeeper John Schubert either time.

Aspen finally broke through on a power play with 22 seconds remaining in the second. Daniel Doremus controlled the puck and quickly skated into the near corner, drawing two defenders. The junior then fired a sharp pass to Murphy Fyrwald, who was perfectly positioned on the far post for the easy score.

Doremus raised both hands and the Skiers bench erupted. The celebration was short-lived.

In the first four minutes of the the third, the Raiders’ Zeke Yslas finished a pass from Justin Johnston shortly after Aspen’s David Cottrell was sent to the penalty box for high sticking.

Austin Miller picked off an attempted Aspen clear with 3:05 remaining and scored unassisted, stretching Regis’ lead to 5-1.

“They’re a strong team and are very deep. They play a good game of hockey,” Butler said. “If we eliminate those mistakes, we probably would’ve been right there.”

The loss is the Skiers’ first in nine games at Lewis Ice Arena. They will look to get back on track Wednesday when they host Fountain Valley.

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