Summit uses numbers against Aspen hockey
The Aspen Times
The Aspen High School hockey team hoped to celebrate its return to home ice Wednesday night against visiting Summit.
But the numbers game, once again, caught up with the Aspen boys.
The Skiers, who cut an early Summit lead to 2-1, eventually fell 6-1 to the Tigers at the Lewis Ice Arena at the Aspen Recreation Center (ARC).
“We didn’t play too well,” Aspen head coach Al Butler said. “We were down 2-0 and we cut it to 2-1. But then, we took a 5-minute major (penalty). And we never seemed to recover from that.”
Summit took advantage and immediately scored on the power play.
“Then, they scored two or three goals. And we just didn’t respond. Our short bench didn’t help any either,” said Butler, who had only 11 healthy skaters to send out against Summit.
Sophomore Burke Daily scored Aspen’s only goal.
Butler said with so few players it is difficult to maintain any consistency on offense or defense.
“And our power play was all jumbled up,” Butler said.
“For the most part,the boys played hard. But with a lot of guys out that we need on the ice, it was tough,” said Butler, who led Aspen to a state championship in boys hockey in 2007.
The Skiers moved to 4-9-2 overall and 2-7-1 in the Foothills League.
Summit improved to 2-13-0 overall and 2-9-0 in the Foothills League
The Tigers were coming off a 5-2 loss at Cherry Creek on Saturday.
The Skiers were coming off a strong showing with a short roster in a 3-2 loss at Columbine in Littleton on Saturday.
Butler was limited to only 10 available skaters in that game.
“We played well,” Butler said, adding that the Skiers battled beyond fatigue in the close game against Columbine.
The Aspen hockey team will host undefeated Ralston Valley, one of the top teams in the state, at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Lewis Ice Arena.
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This past season brought with it Hailey Swirbul’s greatest individual result as a professional cross-country ski racer. But any real satisfaction she received always came when racing alongside her teammates, notably during world champs.