Aspen Leafs 20U team hosting Breckenridge
The Aspen Times
The Aspen Leafs are back on home ice.
The Leafs 20U team, in the inaugural season of the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League, will host the Breckenridge Bucks in a pair of league games Friday and Saturday nights at the Aspen Ice Garden in downtown Aspen.
Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. in a matchup of two of the top teams in the league.
The Aspen Leafs are currently tied for the league lead with the Pikes Peak Miners after last weekend’s split in Aspen.
The Aspen Leafs defeated the Miners 5-2 in the first game of last weekend’s set at the Aspen Ice Garden.
The win was the ninth in a row for the Aspen Leafs, who scored two third-period power-play goals in the close game.
Leafs captain Taylor Knight scored on a breakaway.
Aspen native Arthur Kelso also added a goal as the Leafs held a huge shooting advantage in the first period.
Goaltender Anders Brucker, another Aspen native, was in goal to collect his league-leading fifth win of the season. He stopped 27 of 29 shots from the Miners.
One night later, the Aspen Leafs lost their first game of the season, a penalty-filled 10-3 loss to the same Miners from Colorado Springs.
The Miners scored early and rolled to a Halloween victory on Aspen ice.
The Aspen Leafs and the Pikes Peak Miners are 9-1-0 in the RMJHL.
Breckenridge is right behind, two games back of the conference leaders.
The Aspen Leafs will use an adjusted roster after the suspension of a player this week.
Aspen Junior Hockey director Shaun Hathaway, also the head of the RMJHL, said one player has been dismissed from the team and sent home.
“We had a disciplinary action, and we expelled one player from the team,” Hathaway said. “It was a severe team violation.”
Hathaway said the action was taken immediately after the team violations were reported.
“This is all part of seeing that our standards are met,” Hathaway said. Two additional players may face further discipline before they are allowed to return to the ice, Hathaway said.
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Aspen again is led by senior Christian Kelly at No. 1 singles and Alex Mosher at No. 2 singles. The pair held down those same spots last season, when the Skiers finished sixth overall.