Vail U-19’s fall to Aspen 3-2
The Vail U-19 girls hockey team lost to Aspen, 3-2, Saturday afternoon, but the Mountaineers could well get another shot at the Skiers today at Dobson.
Welcome to the 2003 Vail Sportsmanship Tournament, where it ain’t over until the fat lady sings and/or tournament director Beth Chow runs all the tiebreaker scenarios through the NASA Super Computer.
The math could have been very simple in the U-19 girls division. Both Aspen and Vail came in with identical 2-0 records and a tie would have put both teams through to today’s championship game at 2:30 p.m.
And, Vail and Aspen were tied, 2-2, late in the third when the Skiers’ Dylan Braun scored with 3:53 left in regulation.
That gave Aspen a spot in the title game and leaves Vail needing a win or a tie against Summit today at 9:40 a.m., to make the title game. The Mountaineers beat Summit, 3-2, in the tournament opener Thursday, but repeating that feat will be no easy task.
“We played them in the opener and they were tough,” Vail coach Pamela vanReesema said. “We’re going to have to pick it up. Summit looked good today. They have some good players and we have to keep an eye on them.”
One of those players has got to be Jackie Koetteritz, who had two goals in Summit’s 4-1 win over the Colorado Selects. That win moved Summit to 1-2.
A Vail win or a tie against the Lightning puts the Mountaineers through. If Vail loses, it gets dicey – all the way down to fourth tiebreaker – fewest penalty minutes. Before today’s action, Vail had 14 penalty minutes to Summit’s six.
So Vail technically can lose the game but still advance if, for some reason, Summit starts racking up the penalty minutes, an unlikely proposition at best.
All of this quantum physics was looking unnecessary early, when Keegan Garnsey wristed a puck off an Aspen defender and into the net for a 1-0 Vail lead. Meg Elliot got the assist on that goal.
Aspen’s Maddy D’Amato answered late in the first and, after a scoreless second period, Braun tied the game in the third. Vail needed just two minutes for the equalizer when Garnsey slickly fed Hillary Gallegos for a nice goal.
The tie was as good as a win for Vail, but Braun scored her second, making today’s Vail-Summit game a crucial one.
“We know how to play (Aspen),” vanReesema said. “They know what they did wrong and know what they have to do. We had problems in our (defensive zone). (Vail goalie) Kris Caples came up huge. There were multiple times she was left hung out to dry. Defense is the hardest part of the game, and we’re going to have to work on it.”
Aspen outshot Vail, 28-17, and Caples came up with 25 saves.
Earlier in the day, the Mountaineers cruised past the Colorado Selects, 4-2. Gallegos had two goals as Vail went up 3-0 with 10 minutes left in the third. Toss in goals from Molly Goodman and Garnsey, as well as a playmaker from Elliot, and Vail had its second win of the tournament.
Bantam A’s blank DCC
The Vail Bantam A’s moved to 2-1 in their division with a 3-0 win Saturday morning against the Denver Country Club.
Casey Kleisinger threaded a nice pass to Kodi Wyatt for a 1-0 lead. Barrett Chow scored the first of two on the day minutes later, courtesy of John Ryan Melzer and Wyatt.
Kleisinger to Chow finished the deal in the second period. Goalie Foster Fox recorded the shutout.
Vail was scheduled to play Colorado Springs Black at 10 p.m., Saturday night. If Vail won that game, the Mountaineers would finish pool play at 3-1, and be very much in the mix for the title game, which will be played today at 3:45 p.m.
The rub is, according to Beth Chow, that there are multiple scenarios for teams finishing tied at 3-1.
So, bring out the NASA Super Computer, and stay tuned.
Squirt B’s fall
The Vail Squirt B’s gave a good effort against Hyland, but fell 4-1 Saturday morning.
Rudi Baldwin scored Vail’s goal on an assist from Elliot Simon. Steve Parra had a nice game in net with 33 saves.
The loss eliminated the Squirts form the title game, but the team continued play Saturday night against Pueblo.
Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at email@example.com.