Aspen Junior Hockey’s Stirling Cup returns with more Olympic players
All six of the United States women’s Olympic hockey teams will be represented this weekend when Aspen Junior Hockey hosts its 19th annual Woody Creek Distillers Stirling Cup. AJH’s second largest fundraiser, the highlight of the festivities will be Saturday’s all-star game at Lewis Ice Arena.
Known for bringing in various National Hockey League alumni each year, AJH executive director Shaun Hathaway changed it up a year ago by bringing in the majority of the 1998 women’s national team to play against the University of Colorado women’s club team. This weekend, CU will return to play a collection of Olympians along with a selection of local talent.
“We couldn’t get the entire ’98 team, but we ended up recruiting some others,” Hathaway said. “Every single Olympic event is accounted for in this roster. It will be kind of fun. It will be a different year.”
Women’s ice hockey made its Olympic debut in 1998, with the U.S. women winning gold. The Americans wouldn’t win gold again until the 2018 Olympics, a team that will be represented this weekend in Aspen when Amanda Pelky hits the ice. Megan Bozek will represent the 2014 Olympic team and Lisa Chesson the 2010 Olympic team.
Other Olympians expected to compete are Colleen Coyne, Lisa Brown-Miller, Tara Mounsey, Sue Merz and Tricia Luoma. Joining them against CU will be local coaches Jennifer Banner, ME Cohan and Mowita Rondeau, as well as AJH alumna Renee Dreher, who played with CU in the all-star game a year ago.
At least three recent AJH alumni are expected to play for the Buffs this weekend.
“It’s pretty cool,” Hathaway said. “I get to announce three of our Aspen alumni on the CU roster this year, which is really exciting.”
The puck will drop at 6 p.m. Saturday and general admission tickets are free. A barbecue will be held beginning at 5 p.m. outside the arena, with on-ice practice beginning at 5:30.
The Stirling Cup concludes Sunday with its annual golf tournament at Aspen Golf Club.
Aspen Junior Hockey’s largest fundraiser will be in October with the 26th annual Fall Faceoff, which is three weekends of youth hockey games featuring more than 80 teams. Returning this fall will be various entities of the Mexico national teams, including its women’s national team. The Fall Faceoff gets underway Oct. 11.
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