Puck Ewes blank Aspen, 2-0 | CraigDailyPress.com

Puck Ewes blank Aspen, 2-0

Goalie Kandice Torno pitches first shutout of season

John Vandelinder

— As a goalie in hockey, the idea of a perfectly played game is about getting the all-to-elusive shutout victory against the opposition.

Puck Ewes net minder Kandice Torno is all too familiar with the scenario.

The short-in-stature but tall-in-the-net goalie, was responsible for 12 shutouts last season alone.

In the home team’s third game of the year, she was back to her old bag of tricks.

Torno knocked away 11 shots in a 2-0 Puck Ewes victory against visiting Aspen on Saturday, at the Moffat County Ice Arena.

“To me, it is a perfect thing,” Torno said. “I don’t have to think about what I should have done if they had scored.”

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No dwelling on the what-ifs Saturday.

Jenny LeBlanc opened the scoring for the Ewes, with less than six minutes left to play in the second period.

LeBlanc broke free and deposited a wrist shot from the high slot past the stunned Mother Pucker’s goaltender, for a 1-0 Puck Ewes lead.

Torno halted any chance of an upset, providing two key saves to keep Aspen off the scoreboard.

The goaltender stopped a breakaway by the Mother Puckers and had, perhaps, the game’s most dazzling play.

Early in the third period, Torno was down on the ice to make a save when an Aspen player passed the puck across the goalie’s crease, in an attempt to set up her teammate. Torno dove to her left – still laying on the ice – and snagged the ensuing shot, keeping the slim lead intact.

“Torno was really good for us tonight,” head coach Jerry Strahan said. “She was down. To flop over like that to glove it (the puck) lying down. That’s amazing.”

Craig, (2-1 WACH), kept the pressure on Aspen, out-shooting the Mother Puckers, 22-11.

Stephanie Beckett accounted for the final margin of victory, depositing a goal while camped in front of the Aspen net, seconds after Craig had killed a 5-on-3 Mother Puckers power play.

“The girls played solid again,” Strahan said. “We were mistake free. It was our best game of the year.”

Craig will have plenty of time to get ready for its next contest. The Puck Ewes will travel to participate in a tournament Dec. 7 to 9 in Park City, Utah.

John Vandelinder can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or jvandelinder@craigdailypress.com