Youth hockey hits the ice

Barbara Lawlor

The sound of skate blades scraping the ice. The colors of hockey shirts zooming, spinning, sprinting after the puck. The clash of safety gear as skaters bounced off each other and the ice.

Applause and cheers from parents in the stands, the whistle from the ref. Nederland Youth Hockey was finally under way as the teams hosted a meet on the local rink. The temperature finally dropped low enough to make ice, and young players had their chances to compete.

During the warm spell, practices were held indoors at Hurricane Ranch.

“Thanks to Frank and Donna Greinke, Ned hockey players are enjoying more ice time than ever before. The added ice time is paying off and the mini Hurricanes are off to an exciting start,” said NYA President Aaron Jones.

The competitive season for the Mites kicked off on New Year’s Day, with the beginner and intermediate team playing a tournament at the Pepsi Center.

The Nederland Mites hockey players are eight years old and under. They play small ice games and work on basic hockey fundamentals. They learn teamwork and a lot of perseverance, because, well, hockey is hard, says Jones. There are about 30 Mites on the team this year.

The Nederland Squirts hockey team played two games over the weekend and are now 2-1 on the season. They defeated the Boulder Bison Squirt Rec intermediate team 8-1. Rick Fortunato held down the net and made 12 saves in the game, letting just one shot slip past.

Coach Jones says the team showed off their skills and hard work and played impressive team hockey as a result. “There was a lot of smart passing and enthusiasm.”

Griffin Jones pumped in three goals to lead the Hurricane Winds. Miller Jones and Emily Geels chipped in two each. Corbin O’Rourke rounded out the scoring with one goal. The team played solid defense all day and held the Bison to just 13 shots on goal.   

On Sunday, the Squirts lost 10-3 to Boulder Bison Rec Advanced. Hayden Camp scored two goals and Rick Fortunato scored one goal. Goalie Austin Hardman made 24 saves .


The 2018 Nederland SquirtsTop row, from left: Corbin O’Rourke, Coach Kevin Hertzfeld, Davyn Meade, Maddux Goia, Drew Hertzfeld, Coach Scot Geels, Emily Geels, Griffin Jones, and Coach Aaron Jones.

Bottom, from left: Jesse Martin, Jack Porter, Rick Fortunato, Austin Hardman, Miller Jones. 


Barbara Lawlor

Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.