The Aspen Leafs U20 hockey team defeated the Steamboat Wranglers 3-1 Friday in the opening game of a best-of-three playoff series at the Aspen Ice Garden.
All four goals were scored in the second period, Steamboat’s Noah Ingwers breaking the ice to give the Wranglers a 1-0 lead. Aspen’s Jesus Barrera-Garcia scored two minutes later, near the 10-minute mark, to tie the game. It only took another 40 seconds before Aspen scored again to take a 2-1 lead, Hunter Havice doing the honors.
The Leafs tacked on one final goal late in the period, this time from Alec Johnson.
Jimmy Grosklaus had 30 saves for the Leafs.
Steamboat and Aspen will meet again at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Ice Garden. An Aspen win will give it the series, while a Steamboat win would force a third and final game at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The winner of the series will play the winner of Pikes Peak-Colorado Rampage in the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League finals. Pikes Peak won 7-1 over the Rampage Friday in the first game of their series.