Aspen Leafs U19 girls hockey team wins MSGHL title in Denver
Behind an offensive outburst from Katie Yocum, the Aspen Leafs U19 girls hockey team became something it hadn’t been in a few years.
“She totally pulled it out of her hat this weekend. She was amazing,” said Aspen U19 coach Beth Madsen. “She turned out to be our MVP of the tournament weekend.”
The Leafs held on Sunday to win the Mountain States Girls Hockey League championship at the Edge Ice Arena in Denver. It was the first MSGHL championship for Aspen Junior Hockey’s 19-and-under team since the 2013-14 season, in which all three teams (U12, U14, U19) won their respective titles. The U14 team won the MSGHL title last season.
“Fun group of girls. They deserved it. They had a really good season,” Madsen said. “We overcame some tough situations that we put ourselves in, like the loss in the Vail game. They rebounded and had a tough team to go against.”
Aspen was the top seed entering the round-robin tournament, but after stumbling early against Vail had to fight through a pair of elimination games to make the championship against Summit.
In the final, Yocum’s goal with about five minutes to play in the third period tied the game at a goal each and sent it to overtime. Overtime eventually became a shootout, where in the sixth round Kaelin Harris scored the game-winner for Aspen.
Young Leafs’ goaltender Sammie Jaworski shut down all attackers in the shootout.
“It was pretty exciting,” Madsen said of the celebration. “Gloves were flying.”
Also over the weekend in Denver, the Leafs U15 team finished its tournament in second place, and the U12 team in third place.
While the MSGHL season is over, the Aspen Leafs still have three AA teams competing this weekend in Denver at the state championships. The winners of the U14 and U19 divisions will move onto the Rocky Mountain District championships, while the U16 winner will advance directly to the national tournament.
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