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The Los Alamos Hockey Association’s U12 girls hockey team will be at home for a pair of games against Gunnison, Colo., this weekend.
The team, now in its second season, will host Gunnison Feb. 11-12 at Los Alamos County Ice Rink. Admission for the two games is free.
The U12 girls hockey team has shown some marked improvement from its inaugural season.
In 2010-11, LAHA formed the team, drawing from three different hockey age groups to fill out their season roster.
In that first season, the team played and lost 15 games against other girls’ teams in the Mountain States Girls Hockey League. For the entire season, Los Alamos scored just eight goals — coming from three players — and only one girl was credited with an assist.
Los Alamos had 13 returning players this season. Those players were challenged by the LAHA coaching staff to pick up its offensive efforts and distribute goals across a wider span, along with picking up a few wins in the process.
In the team’s first weekend of games, two against Aspen, Colo., and two against Summit (Breckenridge, Colo.), it achieved all three of those goals.
“The girls have won three games so far and shown opposing teams a level of competition they didn’t see last year,” said team manager Scott Doebling.
In their 12 season games, Los Alamos’ girls have had 12 of the 16 players earn goals and eight pick up assists.
“This year, these girls have learned what it means to work as a team,” said head coach Cathy Crane. “They were given some specific challenges for the season at an early season meeting and achieved them in their first weekend of play before our own rink even opened.”
The delayed opening of the Los Alamos rink meant the team had to travel out of town to squeeze practices in before games started in November. The team had just a handful of practices in Santa Fe and Taos before heading to Colorado to open the season.