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    Durango/Telluride Mountaineers will host Aspen and Gunnison

    Durango and Telluride head coach Steve Martin will lead his high school Mountaineers’ youth hockey team into their only home games of the season this weekend at Chapman Hill Ice Rink – two games Saturday and two games Sunday. Enlarge photo

    Courtesy photo

    Durango and Telluride head coach Steve Martin will lead his high school Mountaineers’ youth hockey team into their only home games of the season this weekend at Chapman Hill Ice Rink – two games Saturday and two games Sunday.

    There isn’t much game left in the season.

    In fact, this weekend’s games at Chapman Hill Ice Rink are the final games of the Mountaineers’ regular season before their league tournament next weekend in Denver.

    And for the first time all season the Durango and Telluride Midget Major A U18 youth hockey team will be playing at home – its only home games of the 2012-13 season.

    Durango and Telluride are in the second year of their joint effort, and the Mountaineers’ high school-age group of 15- to 18-year-olds are split into 11 Durango Mountaineers and four Telluride Mountaineers.

    Durango’s players are Chad Brickey, Danny Cummins, Mason Johnston, Wesley Killinen, Josh Looman, Tim Martin, Austin McMenimen, Liam Millar, Brad Tarpley, Gabe Tonnessen and Eric Walker.

    Telluride’s players are Jordan Gardner, Micah Hesse, Tate Hobbs and Kole Shugars.

    The team is coached by Steve Martin.

    The Mountaineers currently are sixth in 11-team statewide Midget league, which features six teams from Denver and five from the mountains.

    “Wins this weekend are important to improve their position going into next weekend’s league championship tournament in Denver,” said Patrick Cummins, dad of Danny Cummins.

    Last week, the Mountaineers knocked off Littleton, the first-place team’s only loss of the regular season.

    Durango/Telluride will host Gunnison at 11:45 a.m. and Aspen at 6:45 p.m. Saturday at Chapman Hill, then will host Aspen at 9:45 a.m. and Gunnison at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

    Matthew Mandelski, a former Mountaineers goaltender, now tends Gunnison’s goal – “his first time back in Durango since he left,” Cummins said in an email to The Durango Herald. “His old friends hope to score many goals on him.”

    Cummins said the Mountaineers’ leading scorers this year are Danny Cummins, Johnston and Millar. Tonnessen, another one of the team’s stars, is out with a broken hand.

    “Durango relies on strong play from a cadre of first-year (freshmen) players,” too, Cummins said – Hesse, Killinen, Looman, Martin, Tarpley and Walker.

    Hobbs and Shugars, half of the Mountaineers’ Telluride contingent on the roster, man the Mountaineers’ net.

    heraldsports@durangoherald.com