U-12s take third
The Vail Girls U-12 hockey team traveled to Denver last weekend for the Mountain States Girls Hockey League state championship. The opening match pitted the locals against the Summit Lightning, a team with whom the girls had split during the regular season. The teams were evenly matched through the first period and Emily Goodman put Vail up 1-0 at 8:13 of the second. Maddie Stevens assisted on the tally and also fed Goodman halfway into the third to put Vail on top 2-0. Summit dented Vail goalie Rylee McMillin with five minutes left in the game to pull within one. Kate Gray then gave Vail its final margin as she ripped a wrist shot past the Summit netminder with a helper going to Callie Gustafson. The girls had some time to savor the win and then they had to face the league’s regular season number two team, the Colorado Springs Tigers.The Front Range team came out firing and jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the start of the third period. With only 10 minutes to go, the Vail girls got untracked as Clair Jaicks sent a bouncing shot over the Springs netminder’s stick to cut the deficit in half.With six minutes to go, Stevens scored unassisted to knot the game at two. Not content with a tie, Stevens went on a tear, and added three more goals with great individual effort and an assist to Kate Gray. Goalie Rylee McMillin had stopped 16 shots and the defense, led by Emma Porter, McKenzie O’Brien and Kate Gray had shut down the highest-scoring team in the league. Coaches Nancy Stevens, Brett Young, and Molly Love pointed to the solid efforts given by forwards Maggie Sherman, Emily Young, Keely Grasskamp, Moira Laughlin, and Lane Sheldon.As a result of two wins, the Vail girls finished first in their pool, and faced Steamboat Sunday morning to determine seeding for the medal round. The early start may have been the cause of a low scoring game as the teams skated to a 1-1 tie. Stevens put the locals up early, and Vail outshot Steamboat 22-6, but the Sailors snuck one in late to salvage a tie.Game No. 4 found Vail up against Colorado Select, the regular season No. 1 team. Select draws from a large population base and has tryouts to make the team. That depth was telling as they were able to shutout the Vail girls and skate off with a 2-0 win. The season ended with a third-place finish in the tournament, and the players and coaches could be proud of a great effort and a great season.Vail, Colorado
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.