Aspen hockey tops Colorado Academy, remains unbeaten at home |

Aspen hockey tops Colorado Academy, remains unbeaten at home

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” The Skiers are healthy and rolling.

Aspen defender Tommy Mines, who returned to the lineup Friday after missing three games with a broken wrist, scored in the first period and once more in the second as the Skiers jumped out to a 4-0 lead against Colorado Academy on Saturday at Lewis Ice Arena. Aspen held on for the 4-2 victory ” its second in as many days and first in 5A Foothills conference play.

“Obviously, the kids are headed in the right direction,” head coach Al Butler said. “We played well and moved the puck well. We put quite a few shots on them. We got more quality chances and made it happen.”

The Skiers (3-5 overall, 1-3 conference) sputtered before the holiday break, winning just once in six December games. They were held to two or fewer goals in each of those contests.

The rest appears to have done Aspen well. Five different Skiers scored in a 5-2 win over fifth-ranked Cheyenne Mountain on Friday night. Saturday, the Aspen offense soared once more.

The Skiers fired 16 shots on the Mustangs’ net in the first 15 minutes and came away with one score. They were much more efficient in the second period. After Mines scored his second goal of the game ” and second of the season ” forward Murphy Fyrwald and Trey Fox connected to all but put the game out of reach.

“This is kind of how we’ve always started the last few years,” Butler said of his team’s propensity for improving its offensive production as the season progresses. “A lot of it has to do with the line combinations out there. You kind of have to feel your way through it at first, then the guys start to understand each other a little more. The chances become a little more quality after that.

“It takes time. It looks like we’re on the same page now.”

Colorado Academy beat Aspen goalkeeper Zach Ware twice in the final period but could not prevent Aspen from running its record on home ice to 3-0.

Next up for the Skiers is a home tussle with winless first-year program Valor Christian at 6 p.m. Friday. Things get much more difficult Saturday, when Aspen visits unbeaten and third-ranked Machebeuf.

“It’s going to be a good test for us, especially now that we’re playing better,” Butler said. “The kids understand what it takes to win now.”

Aspen High’s nordic team had its best team result of the season in Saturday’s classic at Snow Mountain Ranch in Grand County.

Bryce Gordon (third) and Ben Armstrong (fourth) both logged top five finishes in a field of 73 boys racers. The Skiers girls were equally impressive, with Lindsey Wilkinson taking second and Brittany Marrs third.

The girl’s race was delayed because of two moose on the course.

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