Two third-period goals lift Skiers to victory over visiting Rampart |

Two third-period goals lift Skiers to victory over visiting Rampart

Jon MaletzAspen, CO Colorado
Paul Conrad The Aspen Times

ASPEN Aspen forward Logan Tierney coveted a goal all weekend. The junior has impeccable timing. Tierney scored on a 2-on-1 break 2 minutes, 10 seconds into the third period Saturday to give the Skiers a 3-2 lead over visiting Rampart. Senior Maggie Melberg added one more for good measure and Aspen prevailed, 4-2.The third-period surge is becoming a trend; The Skiers (9-6 overall, 6-4 5A Foothills) scored three goals in the first 10 minutes of the final period Friday against Steamboat Springs in a 4-1 victory.

“We seem to gain confidence as the game goes on,” Aspen coach Al Butler said. “… I think we start to wear other teams down.” Senior defenseman Simon Dolginow picked up the puck near center ice with 13 minutes remaining in the game and immediately skated through the middle of the defense; Tierney followed up the right side. When Dolginow turned and fed him the pass, Tierney confidently flicked the puck past Rams goalie Jeremy Byrns.”It was a 2-on-1, I crashed the net and he passed right across to me,” Tierney said. “That’s how it’s supposed to work.”Tierney gave Aspen its first lead since the early stages of the first period. The Skiers jumped on top five minutes into the game when Daniel Doremus beat Byrns with an authoritative shot on a power play.The Skiers’ early lead was short-lived. Rams forward Donald Geary unloaded a slapshot from left of the net that forced sophomore goalie Zach Ware to rise out of his crouch to knock the puck away; Christian Clark controlled the deflection and caught Ware out of position to tie the game with 7:43 to play in the first.Rampart alertly pushed the puck deep into the Aspen zone in the waning seconds of the first and were rewarded. Geary corralled a loose puck behind his own net with less than 10 seconds remaining and skated up the right side. After crossing the blue line, and with the clock showing one second, he uncorked a shot that tucked into the top right corner as the buzzer sounded.

The Rams bench erupted, spilling over the boards and onto the ice. Butler just shook his head.”We have a tendency to get a little aggressive,” he said. ” We over-pursued up to the blue line, giving them a 2-on-1 the other way.”Dolginow wasted little time squaring the game. He dribbled behind the Rampart net and, after just 31 seconds had elapsed in the second period, fired from a sharp angle and scored when the puck deflected off Byrns’ pads. The Skiers took seven more shots in the second but could not break through. Three penalties in the period put them on the defensive and quelled what little momentum they generated offensively.”For some reason, we didn’t have that same intensity [in the second period],” Butler said. “It wasn’t one of our better games … You figure the first line didn’t have a stellar game, but the second and third lines scored goals in the third period. That’s what makes a team a team.”Third-liner Tierney helped put his team ahead, then Melberg, a second-liner, all but sealed the win. When the puck squirted backwards off a face-off, Melberg picked it up and launched a shot that drilled the bottom right corner.

“It’s more about who wants it, and who’s going to give it their all,” Tierney said. “… We’re always up for the challenge.”Eric Sherlock appeared to have cut Rampart’s deficit to one with 4:27 to play when he scored from the blue line, but the goal was negated because of a high stick. The Skiers hung on from there to pick up their fourth straight victory. Their longest winning streak of the season comes at an ideal time; Aspen hosts perennial power Ralston Valley at 6 p.m. Friday in a rematch of last season’s state championship title game. “We’re starting to get on a roll and gain more confidence,” Butler said. “[Friday] will be a chance to see where we’re at.”

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