The Pikes Peak Miners, who continue to hold the first place spot in the league standings, were able to take two games this past weekend from the Colorado Thunderbirds. A shutout win Friday night with Miners goalie Erik Anderson in net followed by a 7-1 victory on Saturday gave no room for movement in the standings.
There was little time off the clock Saturday before Miners Mitch Porter scored the first of his team’s seven goals. Levi Clemenson of the T-birds scored the lone goal for his team shortly after, as the young team from Littleton held on to a 1-1 stalemate going in to the second period before the Miners lit the lamp six more times. “Our experience and maturity is what has really led to our first half success,” head coach of the Miners Nick Harper explained. “Cam (Clemenson) has done a great job with a talented but young group.” “Every time we play them, he has them playing better and better hockey.”
Harper also gave credit to Miners assistant captain Paul Norris and his line mates Mitch Porter and Patrick Aldredge. “They had possession of the puck nearly every second of every shift they had.” “All three had great attention to detail and were willing to do things the hard way,” Harper added.
The second place Aspen Leafs took two games from the Colorado Rampage in Monument at the Colorado Sports Center this past weekend. Friday night, the Rampage had a late surge when Ty Ayers and Reed Grignano both scored in the third, bringing them within three of the Leafs. A late Leafs goal though with just under a minute remaining would seal the victory on the road.
After a scoreless first period Saturday, Trent Luby, Tom Bowe, and Andrew Lee burst into the second to capture the lead and the momentum to initiate the 5-1 win. JJ Crew, head coach of the Rampage, remarked on the series – “I thought our team played well this weekend. We had our fair share of chances but were unable to capitalize, especially on Friday night.” “I thought Saturday night we took too many penalties and found ourselves trying to play catch up – you can’t expect to win games sitting in the box.”
Suffering a couple of losses to Breckenridge, (2-8 Friday and 2-10 Saturday) head coach of the Yetis Brian Cersosimo is anything but deflated. When asked if his short bench contributed to their losses, Cersosimo suspected it came down to new players adjusting to the thin air coupled with system breakdowns that held them back. “We played well despite the scores, and had way more than our fair chances to score with breakaways and odd man rushes – we just didn’t capitalize on them.”
Cersosimo also noted how instrumental Yetis Trevor Haertl was with three goals over the weekend. “Trevor has really started to adjust to the junior style of play and is now letting his skills show.” “He has become more defensively responsible, which has created more offensive chances for him – leading to over 15 shots in 2 games,” Cersosimo added.
The league takes a break this upcoming holiday weekend and will resume New Years’ Eve when Pikes Peak travels to Breckenridge to take on the Bucks at 7:05 pm. Both will play again Friday at 8:05 pm.
The T-Birds will spend their first day of 2016 with a 4-hour journey to Aspen – puck drops at 7:00 pm both Friday and Saturday.
The last series bringing in the new year will take place in Grand Junction as the Yetis host the Rampage Friday, January 1, at 7:00 pm, and then again on Saturday at 4:30 pm. Good luck players and coaches of the RMJHL and hopes of a wonderful holiday for you all.