Horn sounds in Aspen’s OT win at Steamboat
With 49 seconds left in overtime, Tyler Horn cemented Aspen High’s first come-from-behind victory of the season with a clutch goal on the road against Steamboat Springs Saturday afternoon.Forward-turned-defenseman Tad Norris scored his second goal of the day to tie the game at 3-3 in the third period, then, after more than seven minutes of sudden death, Horn made Steamboat pay for a turnover in their own zone.In netting the game-winner, Horn, who scored a hat trick in an 11-0 AHS win Friday, lifted Aspen into first-place in conference standings. Junior classmate and linemate Tyler Doremus assisted on the game-winner.Aspen improved to 10-3 overall and 7-1 in conference play, but perhaps more importantly the Skiers gained valuable confidence and experience.”It was a big win for us,” said Aspen coach Dennis Maruk. “This is the first time we’ve come back gotten the equalizer and then gotten the winner. It’s good for the the confidence of this team, to know that we can do that.”Norris, who played on Aspen’s top forward line with seniors Sean French and Lincoln Neiley prior to this weekend, apparently took the reassignment to defense in stride.In the first period, it was Norris who answered Steamboat’s opening goal to tie the game at 1-all. French and junior Jordan Friedland filling Norris’ old forward spot assisted.After a scoreless second, Aspen and Steamboat again traded goals in the third. Tyler Doremus scored Aspen’s second goal, assisted by Horn and David Goldberg, to tie it at 2 apiece. Then Norris struck again, assisted by Friedland.”Putting Tad Norris back on defense, considering he scored two goals for us, it was a good change,” said coach Maruk. “He responded and played extremely well. We knew he had the talent to do it but he had been playing forward all year for us, and it’s not easy.”A lot of the kids think defense isn’t a rewarding position, but it is,” Maruk added. “It certainly can be.”Both Aspen and Steamboat had chances to put the game away down the stretch and earlier in overtime, but solid goal tending prolonged it.”It was a real back and forth game, and both teams knew what was on the line in the standings,” Maruk said.Aspen outshot Steamboat 34 to 26. Aspen junior goalie Oliver Martineau recorded the win in net.Wasson washoutThe night before, Friday at the Lewis Ice Arena in Aspen, Aspen blew out Wasson 11-0. In their first meeting in Colorado Springs, the Skiers won 9-0.”Same kind of game,” coach Maruk said.Aspen’s Horn had three goals and one assist. “He’s my player of the weekend,” Maruk said. French also had a hat trick, and two assists. “He’s been snakebit, so now he’s back,” the coach added.Friedland scored his first goal of the season, Goldberg had one goal and four assists, and Doremus added two assists. Sophomore goalie JoJo Hernandez recorded the shutout (on just three just shots, versus Aspen’s 55).Next upAspen hosts Cheyenne Mountain on Friday night at 6 p.m. at Lewis looking to return a favor, as Cheyenne Mountain beat the Skiers 5-2 not long ago, Jan. 10, in Colorado Springs. The following week, Jan. 30, Aspen travels to face Rampart.But, sitting on a 10-3 record with only three additional regular-season games at Colorado Academy then Steamboat and Rampart at home coach Maruk likes the looks of things.”There’s four or five teams that are pretty tight, Steamboat and Vail [Battle Mountain] among them. So we’re in a good situation right now and we’re trying to gear up for the end of the season.”
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Buttermilk Ski Area already is scheduled to host the world’s best at ESPN’s X Games this coming week, while it was recently announced Aspen Highlands will host alpine skiing’s NorAm finals later this spring.