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Aspen’s U-19 girls win Vail tournament

Aspen Times Staff Report

The unbeaten under-19 Aspen girls hockey team won five straight games at the Vail Sportsmanship Tournament last weekend to win the tourney for a fourth consecutive year.

The Aspen girls, the defending three-time state U-19 champs as well, continue to frustrate their rivals at every turn.

In the opening game Friday against the Colorado Selects, Aspen’s nemesis last year in the state tourney, Aspen came out flying, outshooting the Selects 27-3. Aspen goalie Teagan Walter recorded the first of three shutouts on the weekend as Aspen rolled 2-0 with goals from Carley Magill and Reilly Gallagher, and assists from Dylan Braun, Lauren Johns and Gallagher.

Aspen faced a surprisingly strong Summit team next, winning 4-2 and outshooting Summit 18-13. Gallagher scored two goals for Aspen while Braun and Christy Severy scored one each. Maddy D’Amato and Victoria Work notched assists for Aspen.

Aspen escaped its third game against Vail with a narrow 3-2 win, and claimed the No. 1 seed going into Sunday’s playoff rounds.

On Sunday, Aspen’s powerful defense, led by Alia Strong, Work, Magill and Katrina DeVore put on an impressive show. Aspen’s skilled and speedy forwards played strong team defense as well, and goalie Walter was impenetrable, posting back-to-back shutouts.

Aspen easily handled the Selects for a second time, led by winger Gallagher who had a hat trick and an assist. Braun added a goal and an assist, and Strong also had an assist.

In the championship game, Aspen faced Vail once again. And once again, Aspen outshot their rivals 26-10 and won with unassisted goals from Work, D’Amato and Braun.

“There is no doubt that this team sets the standard for girls hockey in the state of Colorado, a fact that every team member is proud,” Dan Johns, an assistant coach, said in a report. “Coaches Peter Whitmore and Wily Manering stress a passing game with an emphasis on speed, smart puck control and team defense … and the girls’ unselfish team defense and sharp passing skills are tough for all opponents.”

This weekend, as part of the third weekend of the 10th annual Fall Face Off Tournament, the Aspen U-19s are playing on their home ice. (Part III of the Face Off also features girls U-12 and U-15 divisions, as well as the 8-and-under Mites division.)

The U-19 girls face New Mexico to open the tourney on Friday at 12:15 p.m.; Colorado Springs at 9 p.m. on Friday; DU at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and Steamboat Springs at 7:15 a.m. on Sunday.

The U-19 girls championship game is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. on Sunday.


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