Aspen Junior Hockey celebrates in postseason
The Aspen Times
Celebration on ice.
Aspen Junior Hockey is celebrating a bevy of on-ice honors after an historic postseason weekend for the local youth hockey organization.
Six Aspen Junior Hockey teams from U18 Midgets to U10 Squirts qualified for the postseason playoffs in their respective leagues this season.
“Participating in different venues throughout the state, all six teams advanced to championship games,” said Aspen Junior Hockey director Shaun Hathaway. “It was an historic weekend for Aspen Junior Hockey.”
Even better, he said, Aspen prevailed with three tournament titles.
“After the dust settled Sunday, the Aspen Leafs had captured three league titles and qualified five teams for the Federation Cup, formerly the Avs Cup,” Hathaway said. “This final-four tournament in Denver will feature the top two CDYHL teams in each division against the top two teams from the Front Range-based youth league (CCYHL).
With five teams in the Federation Cup, Hathaway said AJH leads all associations in the state for the final event of the year.
“I’m extremely proud of all our teams,” Hathaway said. “Making it to the postseason in a league that only takes the top four teams at each division is a great accomplishment in itself. To have the incredible success we experienced during the playoffs is simply a reflection of the hard work and dedication displayed by our players and coaches.”
Hosting the U14 Bantam playoffs at Lewis Ice Arena in Aspen, the Aspen Bantam A and B teams needed all five games to win the double-elimination tournament titles.
The Aspen Bantam A team opend with an 8-3 loss to Steamboat Springs. But they regrouped with a 7-2 win over Glenwood Springs and a 54- win over Cherry Creek to advance to the final round.
The team needed two wins to take the title. The Aspen Leafs defeated Steamboat 5-3 and 5-4.
Goaltender Emerson Jacobson had 88 saves in four games. Reece Cohan led all teams in scoring with 12 points (7 goals and 6 assists).
In the Bantam B division, Aspen beat West Elk 6-3 before a 3-1 loss to Cherry Creek.
The Aspen Leafs beat West Elk 2-1 again to advance.
In a rematch against Cherry Creek, the Aspen Leafs won a 3-2 overtime thriller to force a final game.
The Aspen team beat Cherry Creek 4-2 in the final.
Cooper Johnson and Matthew Rigney led the team in scoring with 4 points each.
Goaltender Logan Soderberg had 55 total saves.
In Eagle, the U12 Peewee A Aspen team won three consecutive games to take the title.
Aspen defeated the Summit Lightning 5-4 in overtime.
In the second game, the offense skated to a 5-4 win over the Glenwood Grizzlies.
In the final game, the Aspen Leafs celebrated a championship after beating the Grizzlies 2-1.
Brooks Bond led the team in scoring with 6 points (5 goals, 1 assist). Goaltender Larkin Dolan finished with 53 saves.
Also in Eagle, the Aspen Leafs Peewee B team defeated Vail 3-2 and Grand Junction 5-3 to reach the championship round.
In their third game, they fell to Glenwood 5-3 to set up a winner-take-all finale against the Grizzlies.
The Aspen team came from behind to tie the game with 40 seconds to play, but the Grizzlies won in quadruple overtime in deteriorating ice conditions.
Eli Hunt and Keaton Miller each recorded 4 points to lead the team in scoring.
“Goaltender Zach Small was spectacular in net, registering 118 saves,” the Aspen Junior Hockey director said.
After traveling to Steamboat for the U10 Squirt playoffs, the Aspen Leafs Squirt B team advanced to the championship round and clinched a Federation Cup berth with a 5-2 win over Steamboat and a 4-3 win over Vail.
Vail rallied on Sunday with two big wins and the title.
Goaltender Zane Haber had 38 saves in four games. Forwards Nick Pevny and Brady Conrardy had 5 points each.
The Aspen Leafs U18 Midget team played in Breckenridge in the Colorado Prep Hockey League Tier-2 tourney.
The Leafs beat West Elk 9-3 to reach the final.
Steamboat won the title despite being outshot by Aspen 24-20.
Connor O’Brien led all teams in scoring with 7 points (5 goals, 2 assists).
Goaltender Jacob Webhorn had 36 playoff saves in his first year with the Aspen Junior Hockey program.
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