Aspen hockey splits first two games after break |

Aspen hockey splits first two games after break

Nate Peterson

Aspen, CO ColoradoThe number of shots doesn’t matter, just the number that go in.Aspen’s hockey team learned that lesson yet again Friday night in a 6-4 loss at Standley Lake. The Skiers (5-3-1, 1-1 in the Foothills Division) rebounded to down Machebeuf, 5-3, Saturday.Aspen outshot Standley Lake, 25-21 but couldn’t recover from an early 3-0 deficit that coach Al Butler attributed partially to nearly a month between games. The team’s first scheduled games after the holiday break against Colorado Academy and Regis were canceled because of snow.Standley Lake, meanwhile, had played two games the week before, and it showed. “We weren’t really sharp to start,” Butler said. “In the first period we gave up three goals on eight shots.”Butler replaced senior goalie Kody Hornburg with junior Remy Pearlstone between periods just for chance to “change the momentum of the game.” The move worked somewhat. Aspen got on track on offense in the second period to net three goals, yet also gave up another two, and trailed by as much heading into the third.Skiers sophomore Tommy Mines scored early in the final period to pull the score within one, but Standley Lake answered back with another goal.Mines’ goal came off assists from seniors Nicky Anastas and Matt Butler, who each had an unassisted score in the second. Butler’s goal – the Skiers’ first – was short-handed. Junior Willy Klein knocked in Aspen’s other goal off an assist from classmate Taylor Feldman.Aspen racked up 16 penalties, which made it difficult to cut the deficit shorthanded for most of the game.”We were killing penalties all night, it seemed,” Butler said. “Some refs call the new rule interpretations a little differently, and they were calling it pretty tight. Just a lot of hooking and slashing calls.”Against Machebeuf, Aspen had only eight penalties and, unlike the night before, came out strong in the first period, taking a 2-0 lead.”We took the play to them right away and put them on their heels,” Butler said. “The first two goals were within a minute and 11 seconds.”Junior Tyler Moore had the first on assists from Anastas and Butler, and Matt Cooper netted the second on an assist from Ryder Fyrwald. Aspen applied even more pressure in the second as Butler, Fyrwald and Anastas all scored to give the Skiers a 5-2 lead heading into the final period.Machebeuf’s last goal came with less than a minute to play, making the game seem closer than it really was.”Obviously, we would have preferred to come out of the weekend with four points, but we struggled early in that first game,” Butler said. “The thing I’m pleased with is that we at least fought our way back and then came out in strong in that second game. We’re heading in the right direction; we just need to keep the momentum going.”The Skiers host defending state champion Peak to Peak, at 6 p.m. Friday and Dakota Ridge at 4 p.m. Saturday. Aspen routed Peak to Peak, 6-1, in the teams’ first meeting.Nate Peterson’s e-mail address is