State hockey: Air Academy turns back Aspen’s upset bid
The Aspen Times
The high school hockey season came to a sudden hockey stop for the Aspen Skiers on Friday night in Colorado Springs.
But not before the Skiers threatened to pull a first-round upset in the CHSAA State Hockey Championships.
In the end, the homestanding Air Academy Kadets scored two third-period goals to come from behind and eliminate the Skiers 4-3 in a back-and-forth playoff game at Sertich Ice Arena in Colorado Springs.
Air Academy initially took a 1-0 lead with a first-period goal.
The two high school teams traded goals early in the second period.
Then, the Skiers scored two lightning-quick goals in a 35-second span at the end of the second period to take a 3-2 lead into the final 17-minute period of the state high school playoff game.
But the Skiers also headed into the third period a man down after taking penalty at the end of the second.
Air Academy scored the tying goal early in the third period.
Then, with 6:45 to play, the Kadets scored what turned out to be the game-winner in the 4-3 thriller of a playoff game.
In other state first-round games Friday, Regis Jesuit shut out Heritage 8-0, and Resurrection Christian eliminated Colorado Springs Doherty 3-0.
Regis Jesuit (18-0-1) will take on Resurrection Christian (16-5-0) at 11 a.m. today.
Also Friday, Monarch defeated Cheyenne Mountain 7-4.
Cherry Creek also won Friday, defeating Lewis-Palmer 4-1.
The Aspen Skiers finished the prep hockey season 10-9-0 overall under first-year head coach Dru Lucchesi.
Air Academy High advances to the second round with a 16-4-0 overall record.
The Kadets beat the Skiers 1-0 in an early season game in December.
Air Academy next will play the winner of the Dakota Ridge-Denver East first-round game.
In prep basketball at the Class 3A Western Slope District Tournament at Grand Junction Central on Friday, the Moffat County girls defeated Grand Valley 44-35 in one semifinal game.
Olathe (19-1) was scheduled to take on Coal Ridge (10-10) in the other girls semifinal late Friday night.
On the boys side, Roaring Fork defeated Grand Valley 63-45 in a Friday semifinal.
Roaring Fork (15-6) eliminated the Aspen boys in a Tuesday night opening-round game in Carbondale, coming from behind in the second half.
Moffat County’s boys (16-4) played the Coal Ridge boys (10-10) in the other semifinal in the boys bracket of the district tournament.
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Katelyn Maley was the first across the finish line on Saturday at the Norris-Penrose Event Center, winning the Class 3A girls state championship in 18 minutes, 39 seconds. She came in more than 34 seconds ahead of second place.