Aspen hockey sloppy, but victorious at home
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN ” Aspen hockey coach Al Butler was not happy with the effort. He will sure take the victory.
While they lacked their usual offensive punch in their first game since Saturday’s four-goal loss to top-ranked Regis Jesuit, the Skiers managed to pull out a win Wednesday against visiting Fountain Valley. Daniel Doremus scored one goal and assisted on another and Aspen outshot the Danes by a three-to-one margin in a 3-1 win ” its 10th in 11 games since Jan. 1.
“We didn’t execute and didn’t have the intensity we needed to have,” Butler said bluntly. “We have three games left before the playoffs, and we need to be on top of our game. In this game, that obviously wasn’t the case.”
Still, the Skiers controlled the game early, firing eight shots at Fountain Valley goalkeeper Jordan Lee in the opening five minutes. The ninth produced the game’s first score. Doremus controlled the puck and faded toward the corner, eyes fixed in front of the net. Teammate Colby Langley made a quick cut toward the goal, and Doremus hit him in stride for the easy score. Aspen outshot the Danes, 16-4, in the first period but could muster just one score.
Doremus generated his own offense five minutes into the second. He gathered a loose puck near center ice, skated hard up the left side with a defender draped all over him, swooped in and went low for the score.
Three minutes later, Doremus knifed into the Danes’ zone, lost the puck and his balance, fell and skidded hard into the boards. The Skiers faithful looked on anxiously as the junior skated gingerly off the ice.
“I got my bell rung a little bit,” joked Doremus, who didn’t miss a shift the rest of the game. “I’m a little sore everywhere.”
Little more than one minute after Doremus left the ice, Fountain Valley, which mustered just four shots in the opening period and 11 overall, cut its deficit in half. A failed Aspen possession resulted in a break the other way. Danes forward Mason Ford wound up and fired a shot that bounced off Skiers goalkeeper John Piccianati and directly to Dariusz Baliczek. Baliczek converted 6 minutes, 23 seconds before the second intermission.
“I definitely think these weekday games don’t work well for us,” said Doremus, whose team escaped with a 1-0 win over Standley Lake last Tuesday. “I don’t know if its a mental mind-set or what, but we’re just not 100 percent.”
The Skiers responded with 4:34 to play in the second. David Cottrell launched a shot from the blue line that teammate Trey Fox tapped home.
Aspen cruised from there, picking up its ninth win in 10 games at Lewis Ice Arena. The Skiers close out the regular season with home games on Friday against Chatfield and Saturday against Columbine. Both games are slated to begin at 6 p.m.
Defensive standout Tommy Mines, who has missed the last few games while serving a suspension, returns to the lineup Friday. Butler said he hopes his team’s stellar play returns, too.
“It’s always nice to get a win, but you’d like to get one when you’re playing the way you know you can play,” he added.
“[Saturday] was definitely a wake-up call for us,” Doremus said. “Even though we’re not playing our best right now, we’ve still won 10 of our last 11. Now, we need to build off that.”
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