Breakaways finish second in state |

Breakaways finish second in state

Chris Freud

DENVER<The Vail Breakaways women’s hockey team lost the Stella Cup championship game last weekend, but still managed to have a boisterous on-ice celebration.That’s because before losing to the Denver Bandits 3-0 in the title game, the Breakaways topped archrival Aspen 2-1 in a shootout in the state semifinals. While goalie Christina Aiello was standing on her head, Tania Landauer and Cindy Reynolds lit the lamp in the shootout, sending the Breakaways happily spilling their way onto the ice.”It was awesome. It was like we won the tournament,” Vail vet Alice Plain said. “We piled on Christina. We were elated, just thrilled to beat Aspen. We felt like if we had won that game, we wouldn’t have too much of a problem with the championship game.”Vail took a 1-0 lead on Aspen on a Karrisa Keltner goal. But sticking to the Motherpuckers’ style in this rivalry, Aspen scored with 41 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime.”Aspen had been playing very well in the tournament. They had been averaging four or five goals per game,” Plain said. “The thing with Aspen is that they always seem to find a way to score in the final minute and the usual scenario is that we end up losing. This was the first time in a long time we got the win.”The Breakaways had to suit up just hours later against the Bandits in the title game, a 3-0 loss, falling short of the team’s first Stella Cup since 1997.In pool play, the Breakaways started the tournament with a physical 3-1 win over the Fort Collins Flames. Joni Coughlin, Jen Babcock and Plain ripped the twine for Vail. The next day, Cindy Reynolds had Vail’s only goal on a 3-1 loss to the Bandits.Although the Breakaways wanted to lift Stella, it was still a great year for the team. The Breakaways finished 22-7-2.”This is definitely the best finish we’ve had in the last few years,” Plain said. “It was a long season and we were very committed throughout the year. We had a lot of newcomers this year and we’re going to have everybody back so we hope to continue to do well.”

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