Telluride’s young lady hockey players are 3-0, with the only minor blemish to their 2009-10 record coming in December when they tied Aspen in the season opener.
The girls have since revved up to win their last three games, beating Vail 4-0 and 5-2 and the Colorado Junior Eagles 2-0 in a tournament held in Denver before the holidays. Coach John Cohn says that this year’s team once again has inklings of greatness within its ranks.
“What I’ve seen from this team is a bunch of ladies who have what I call ‘go,’ or the ability to get on the ice and skate as hard as they can,” he says.
There is a lot riding on this new hockey season for Telluride’s U-19 girls, as they have a solid reputation to keep up. The team astonished the Mountain States Girls hockey league in 2007-08 by winning the State Champion banner, and came back last year to do it again.
The two-years-reigning Colorado State Champs are on track to make it to the State Finals again this year, thanks to a strong and skilled crew of freshwomen who bolstering the 2010 team’s lines.
“We may not be quite as strong a team as a whole, but we’re so much deeper than we’ve ever been. We have three, even four full lines that can compete with anybody,” Cohn says.
He credits the strong U-12 and U-14 girls’ hockey program for building a strong foundation for Telluride’s U-19 team. “They get to this level and they know the game and they know how to skate. It’s easy then to start immediately coaching skills and technique,” he says, adding that it helps that the entire roster “loves the game.”
The team will again meet Aspen in its first game of the new year, this Sunday at Aspen’s Lewis Ice Arena. The fellow ski town represents Telluride’s biggest challenge after dealing the otherwise unstoppable team its only season tie.
Last year Aspen nearly unseated Telluride from their State Champ throne during the State Finals. After Telluride defeated four teams in a row to make it into the final match, the reigning champs lost to Aspen. But Telluride prevailed in a second game, taking the State title and the 2008-09 trophy.