Dakota Ridge falls to Aspen

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By Dan Johnson

The Dakota Ridge Eagles just couldn’t keep from flying back to its coup.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, their nest happened to reside in the penalty box, and their opponent was more than appreciative of the odd-man advantage.

Aspen scored four goals, all on the power-play, to top Dakota Ridge 4-0 on Dec. 12 at the Edge Ice Arena.

When the Eagles managed to keep all of their skaters on the ice, they were able to hang with Aspen and nearly took a 1-0 lead in the first period when Jason Refka’s wrister from the slot banged off the left post.

Neither team managed a goal in the opening 15 minutes, although Aspen had plenty of good chances. Dakota Ridge’s Tyrus VanMatre performed solidly between the pipes, stopping nine shots.

In the second period, Dakota Ridge’s scrappy play began to cost them as the penalties piled up.

Down two men, the Eagles surrendered the game’s first goal late in the second period when Aspen’s Milo Stark scored from the left faceoff circle.

Nearly a minute later and still up two men, Aspen increased its lead to 2-0 when Stark fed Cody Horn in front for a goal.

Dakota Ridge never could mount an offensive charge due to the penalties, which continued into the third period. Aspen’s James Pardee scored at the 13-minute, 18-second mark of the third period and Coby Langley finished out the scoring with a goal with just over five minutes remaining.

VanMatre finished with 25 saves for the Eagles, who managed just six shots on goal.