Leafs Begin New Year With Two W’s

A new calendar year brought good fortune for the Aspen Leafs, who have been idle since December 17. Aspen (14-8-1-1) extended their winning-streak to three while taking a pair from visiting Colorado Rampage.

The Leafs jumped on Colorado from the beginning on Friday, pounding shot-after-shot at the Rampage net. Despite a 17-6 advantage in the first period Aspen found themselves trailing on the scoreboard 1-0. Early into the second it was 2-0 as Jack Rousseau found the back of the net for the second time for the Rampage.

Shots kept pouring in on Colorado netminder Jeremy Hamerquist, who eventually cracked at 6:20 of the second when Tommy Bowe scored the first of his four goals in the game. That was the beginning of a five-goal run by Aspen who went on to win 7-3.

Final shot totals were 55-15 with Hamerquist making 48 saves in a losing effort. Austin McCain picked up the victory in net for the Leafs.

On the following night the teams returned to Lewis Arena for the series finale. In very similar fashion Aspen walked away with another win, 6-4.

Just like the previous night, Aspen outshot Colorado 20-9 in the opening frame only to find themselves trailing at intermission, 2-1. Early into the second the deficit became 3-1 when Brenden Polaski scored his second of the night.

Eventually the Rampage defense and Hamerquist would wear down and the Leafs would take advantage. Brett Hawkins, Alec Johnson, Bowe and Cory Kane each scored to give the Leafs a 4-3 lead at second intermission. Shot totals after 40 minutes were 41-14.

Completing his hat trick, Polaski would get Colorado within a goal midway through the third. It would not be enough as Kane scored the only other goal of the frame in the final minute. Shot totals in the third were closer with Aspen having a slight edge 17-10.

Aspen will hit the road next weekend for a three-game clash with league-leading Pikes Peak Miners (23-2-0-0), who have a 16-point lead on the second place Leafs. With Steamboat Wranglers (10-9-1-4) just five points back the series could have big implications on playoff standings.

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