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Big weekend ahead for AHS hockey

Aspen High hockey opened its conference schedule Jan. 4 with a 3-2 come-from-behind, overtime victory at Regis of Aurora. This weekend, however, with four Mountain Conference games over three days in Colorado Springs, is more likely to tell the tale of the season to come.

Aspen enters the weekend at 3-2 overall in the Colorado High School Hockey League and in 1-0 in conference play. Aspen opens against Wasson (0-8, 0-5) at 6 p.m. tonight at Air Force Academy, then faces off with unbeaten Cheyenne Mountain (7-0, 3-0) at 2 p.m. Saturday, also at the Air Force Academy. Cheyenne Mountain knocked Aspen out of the playoffs in the final four last year en route to the state championship.

On Monday, Aspen plays two games, each at a different rink in Colorado Springs. First up is Coronado (2-5, 1-2), then comes Rampart (3-5-1, 3-2).

“The rest of the way out they’re conference games, so it’s a big weekend,” said AHS coach Mark LeRose. “You don’t want to overlook any opponent, but right now Cheyenne Mountain is the class of the league, not just our conference.”

If the Jan. 4 overtime win at Regis is any indication, though, Aspen has shaken off the cobwebs that led to back-to-back non-conference losses before the holiday break. Despite outshooting Regis 42-20, Aspen had to fight to force overtime, where Lincoln Neiley iced the game just 14 seconds before it would have halted in a tie.

“It was a good win because it was our first conference game,” said LeRose. “It’s good to get off on that right foot, but we’ll see where it takes us this weekend.”


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