Aspen Leafs top league after sweep of Yetis
The Aspen Times
The Aspen Leafs are alone in first place.
The Aspen Leafs Junior A hockey team (20U) swept both games of a doubleheader last weekend against visiting Grand Junction to extend the team’s winning streak and take over first place in the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League
The Aspen Leafs improved to 8-0 in the inaugural season of play in the RMJHL. The sweep over the Grand Junction Glacier Yetis was the fourth in a row for the Leafs, coached by Jay Miller.
Big-time offense fueled the Leafs in the 13-4 and 11-0 victories at the Aspen Ice Garden.
The Aspen Leafs took advantage of their power-play opportunities in the Saturday night shutout.
In one stretch in the second period, the Aspen offense scored five consecutive power-play goals in just over four minutes.
In all, the Aspen Leafs scored six power-play goals and two shorthanded goals.
Trent Luby had a hat trick for Aspen.
Forwards Andrew Lee and Ivan Bondarenko extended their scoring streaks with two goals each in the Saturday night win.
Arthur Kelso, who came up through Aspen Junior Hockey, collected an assist against the Yetis.
“We came out and played the style of hockey we want to play,” assistant coach Justin Adams said. “We used our speed tonight, and everything was thrown at the net with traffic.”
In the Friday night 13-4 win at the Aspen Ice Garden, the Leafs started fast with a 6-0 lead in the first period.
Hayden Knight of Las Vegas had a hat trick.
Russian natives Bondarenko and Viacheslav Goev totaled five goals. Lee also scored two goals and added three assists.
Aspen native Anders Brucker got the start in goal and stopped 18 shots for his third victory of the season.
The Aspen Leafs now turn their attention to the Pikes Peak Miners, the second-place team in the RMJHL.
Pikes Peak will visit the Aspen Ice Garden for two key league games at 7 p.m. Friday night and Saturday night.
Pikes Peak is 7-1 on the season after a sweep of the Colorado Rampage 7-3, 3-2 last weekend.
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Those opting for the spring, like Aspen and Basalt, will begin football practice Feb. 25 and start playing games March 11.