Hockey Players Prepare for Upcoming Season

As most Aspenites know, hockey season is highly anticipated at AHS.  With snow already here, it almost feels too far away for many of the players and fans.  For some, however, the season has already started.  This year, Aspen Junior Hockey is providing a new club team throughout the year for a few passionate players to participate in.

Aspen Junior Hockey’s club team is giving some players the chance to get ahead and become even better players.  Playing in the off season could potentially be a great advantage for when the actual season starts at the end of October.

“We only have a few weeks after high school [hockey] starts before we open up against Regis and Cherry Creek, two playoff teams,” club and CHSAA coach Dru Lucchesi said.

The club team’s record is competitive, but the team’s main goal is to prepare for the high school season. The team has 3 wins, 3 losses, 1 tie, and 1 overtime loss.

The club games are slower than what the high school season is going to be like, but still very competitive,” Lucchesi said.

The participants on Aspen Junior Hockey’s club team are not only local Aspenite players.  The team is made up of a combination of Vail, Aspen, and Glenwood high school hockey players.  If they play hockey and are of a certain age, they are welcomed to the team.

“It gives me more experience and I get more ice time, which helps me prepare for the High School season,” AHS junior, Victor Dunn said.  “Playing with people I do not usually play with helps me become a stronger hockey player,” Dunn said about the club team.

Another major benefit to the club team is the weight training program that takes place every Tuesday and Thursday, led by Coach Aldridge.  Lucchesi said the boys who show up to these are “kids that have work ethic and grit.” Coach Lucchesi also believes that these weight training practices will help to create a greater team, and they will work during the season to develop hockey sense.

“We need smart hockey players that want to learn the game of hockey, and that is what we will try to install this year,” Lucchesi said.

On top of it all, the team has been a fun and completely different experience for the players. It is helpful for the upcoming fall season, starting in November.

The Aspen Junior Hockey club team has been a beneficial way to spend time for those who are willing to put in the effort to get some extra time on the ice in order to be prepared for the upcoming season.