Aspen hockey to focus on fundamentals |

Aspen hockey to focus on fundamentals

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

ASPEN – The Aspen High School hockey team will focus on fundamentals when they take on Mountain Vista in the opening round of the state playoffs Friday on the Front Range.

“We want to make sure we stick with the basics,” Aspen head coach Al Butler said.

“We’ve got to get to the defensive zone; we’ve got to play our positions,” Butler said with the Skiers poised to take on the Golden Eagles from Highlands Ranch with a 7:45 p.m. puck drop at the South Suburban Ice Arena in Centennial.

“Coming off the big win last weekend (over Regis Jesuit), they are in good spirits,” the Aspen coach said of the surging Skiers (11-8).

“Mountain Vista is a well-balanced team,” Butler said of the 16-3 Golden Eagles, the No. 2 seed on Aspen’s side of the 16-team state playoff bracket.

“They are similar to us. They also have three solid lines,” Butler said.

He said the Skiers can’t afford to give up unnecessary scoring chances to Mountain Vista.

“We don’t want to give them any extra opportunities,” Butler said.

The Skiers also will bring a hot goalie, Alex Parrish, into Friday’s game.

“He’s been playing well for us,” Butler said. “He tends to get up for the big games. He’ll have to be on top of his game.”

In the state playoff format, No. 3 Resurrection Christian (14-3-2), of Loveland, will play No. 6 Doherty (13-6) in the earlier game at 4:30 p.m. at South Suburban.

The winners will move up to Round 2 and a state quarterfinal game at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the same rink.

The state semifinals will be played Feb. 28 with the state championship game one night later on March 1. The semifinals and championship will be played at Magness Arena on the campus of the University of Denver.

The other matchups on Aspen’s side of the bracket include No. 1 Ralston Valley (16-2-1) vs. No. 8 Bishop Machebeuf (7-12) and No. 4 Valor Christian (14-4-1) vs. No. 5 Standley Lake (12-5-2). Those games will be played at APEX in Arvada.

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