Three games in three days. This was the task facing the defending RMJHL champion Aspen Leafs. The weekend set also wrapped an eight-game road trip which saw the club slip to third place in the standings. After three wins and six points Aspen is back in second place with a eight-game homestand to close the regular season.
Opening their weekend at Old Foothills Ice Rink the Leafs needed a comeback to get past the Colorado Thunder, who took a 4-0 lead early in the second period. Shots on goal were not hard to comeby in this one though (Aspen outshot Colorado 70-48) as Garrett McNichol got the Leafs on the board at 1:10 of the second.
Aspen would go on to score five goals, two by Viacheslev Goev, in the third period winning 6-4. Playing in his first game with the Leafs goaltender Jimmy Grosklaus made 44 saves helping the Leafs snap a two-game losing streak. A Rampart, Colorado native, Grosklaus came to the Leafs after playing with the Tri-City Outlaws most of this season.
Saturday night ended with a 10-4 victory and featured eight different Aspen goal scorers and a shot advantage of 60-33. Tommy Bowe led all scorers with two goals and two assists. Connor Moore, Brett Hawkins, Ben Hunsperger and Cory Kane each added three points.
Trever Haertl scored a hat trick for the Thunderbirds including the opening two goals of the game. Despite the losses the Thunderbirds (7-21-0-1) remain tied with Colorado Rampage (6-20-0-3) for the fourth and final playoff spot with 15 points.
Aspen would wrap their weekend with a matinee game in Monument against the Rampage winning 5-0. Hawkins scored twice while Bowe, Moore and Jesus Barrera-Garcia each netted a goal. Grosklaus stopped all 16 shots on net to earn the shutout.