Huskies knock off Skiers
Aspen CO, ColoradoASPEN Aspen may want to check the goals at the Lewis Ice Arena after Tuesday’s game with Battle Mountain. They might be shrinking.The Skiers bombarded Huskies goalie Foster Fox with 31 shots, but managed to score just twice – the last coming at the final buzzer with Aspen trailing by three. Aspen (3-2) could not foster the offense necessary to erase an early deficit and fell, 4-2.Aspen averaged 4.5 goals per game during its two-game sweep of defending state champ Peak to Peak and Rampart on Friday and Saturday. Tuesday, they were left searching for answers – and goals – as Battle Mountain evened the season series. The Skiers topped the Huskies, 3-1, in the season opener Dec. 1.”We’ve gotten them to the point where they’re getting the chances, now they have to figure out how to get the puck into the net,” Aspen head coach Al Butler said. “This is disappointing considering this was our home opener. I was expecting them to come out a little harder.”
The Skiers had two power play opportunities and multiple scoring chances in the game’s first seven minutes, but came away empty-handed. One shot rang off the post, and Fox helped Battle Mountain avert disaster with some adept glove work. Aspen senior captain Ryder Fyrwald deaked a defender, found some open space and fired a low slapshot; Fox stayed low to the ice and turned Fyrwald’s blast away with his pads.”He was really active, really good,” Aspen senior Nicky Anastas said. “You have to get him moving to have a chance to score. We didn’t have enough traffic in front of the net.”Fyrwald was whistled for a penalty with 4 minutes, 25 seconds to play in the first; the Huskies wasted little time capitalizing on their man-up advantage. Jonny Stevens scored 45 seconds later. Jason Funk cradled the puck behind the Aspen net, then passed off to Stevens, who found a seam in the Aspen defense. He fired, and Skiers goalie Kody Hornburg could not react quickly enough.
Funk helped the Huskies stretch the lead three minutes into the second period. He dribbled the puck down the right side, then fired a soft shot on goal that caught Hornburg off guard.Huskies junior Ryan Maddux’s shot with 5:25 to play in the second rang off the left post and fell in, giving Battle Mountain a three-goal edge.”We weren’t quite ready to play in that first period, and it hurt us,” Butler said. “If you outshoot a team that badly, you’d expect the outcome to be the opposite.”The Skiers fired 18 shots on goal to Battle Mountain’s two in the third period. They found the net twice – junior Simon Dolginow scored at 8:51, and Anastas slipped another past Fox as time expired – but couldn’t close the gap.
Junior Barret Chow all but sealed the game at 3:20 when, after a pass from Jordy Coffey, he fired a shot that ricocheted off Hornburg’s pads and into the net.The Huskies, ranked second in the Rocky Mountain News’ preseason poll, have won three straight after opening 1-2.Aspen will look to regroup Friday when it travels to Steamboat Springs. The Pilots topped the Skiers, 2-1, Dec. 2.”It’s early, but hopefully we’ll figure this out,” Butler said. “We’re getting the opportunities, so we’re doing something right.”Jon Maletz’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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