Aspen Junior Hockey concludes annual Fall Faceoff; AJH team wins in Vegas |

Aspen Junior Hockey concludes annual Fall Faceoff; AJH team wins in Vegas

A Salt Lake County hockey player, right, attempts to settle the puck against Boulder on Sunday in the final day of the Fall Faceoff hockey tournament at the Aspen Ice Garden. The three-weekend tournament is the largest fundraiser of the year for Aspen Junior Hockey.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

Aspen Junior Hockey concluded its 24th annual Fall Faceoff on Sunday. The three-weekend tournament is the organization’s largest fundraising event and featured 94 teams from seven states in 11 age divisions.

AJH had nine different teams representing in some capacity over the three weekends, including the Aspen High School fall varsity team and the girls 19U and 16U AA teams.

“The entire tournament was a tremendous success, and we are very proud of our contribution to the community,” AJH Executive Director Shaun Hathaway said. “For us, the effort to bring in well over 1,000 staying and paying families in an otherwise downtime in the tourism industry is a worthy endeavor. The hockey was memorably entertaining, too.”

The highlight for Aspen came in the second weekend (Oct. 20-22) when both of Aspen’s Squirt B teams met in the championship game, the Gold team beating the Green team, 4-3. In five games, Dylan Ness led the Gold team with 15 points (10 goals, five assists). Aspen’s Jack Freitas led all Squirts with 20 points (14 goals, six assists).

In the final weekend, which featured Bantam B, Peewee A and Peewee B divisions, Aspen’s four Bantam and Peewee B teams combined to finish 6-5-5. In the Bantam division, Aspen Green finished 2-0-2, missing the semifinals by a point. In their final pool play game, they tied 0-0 with eventual champion Boulder. Aspen goalie Zach Small stood out, finishing the weekend with a 1.07 goals against average and a .94 save percentage with three shutouts.

The Aspen Leafs Peewee B Green team finished second in its division, going 2-1-1. Ryder Rondeau led the team in scoring with nine points (eight goals, one assist).

Aspen strikes gold in Vegas

Also over the weekend, the Aspen Leafs teamed with Glenwood Springs to field an 11-player team for the Can/Am Challenge Cup in Las Vegas, where they won gold. Aspen’s Freitas scored the game-winning goal with less than a minute left in regulation to beat the Las Vegas Jr. Golden Knights 5-4 in the Squirt B championship.

The Leafs completed the tournament with a 4-0-1 record. The tie came against the same Golden Knights team they eventually beat in the championship.

Members of the team included Freitas, Jacob Roggie, Lucas Chartier, Catcher Davis, Lucas Stott, Jace Olson, Jacob Stockdill, Ryder Cohan, Lee Whiston, Carter Kuhlman and Reagan Martens.

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