Demons hockey falls short of championship in triple overtime
That’s how long it took to decide the Colorado 4A hockey champion, and sadly for Glenwood Springs, it was the other team netting the sudden-death game winner.
After beating Colorado Academy in the semifinal 3-1 on Saturday, the first-ranked Demons took on third-ranked Cheyenne Mountain at University of Denver’s Magness Arena on Tuesday evening.
The Red-Tailed Hawks beat a tough Steamboat Springs team 7-1 to punch their ticket to the final, and it was Cheyenne’s Wyatt Furda who punched the triple overtime game winner past Demons starting goaltender Marek Senn.
“There’s nothing to be disappointed about on how we finished,” Demons head coach Tim Cota said. “It’s a triple-overtime game. That comes down to one shot, one moment.
“We felt we had our chances, and we just didn’t follow through. All I know is we’ll be back.”
Leading up to the loss, Senn faced 15 shots on goal, while the Demons dominated the offensive zone, shooting 24 on an unbeatable Cheyenne Mountain starting goaltender Jeremy Renholm.
“Sometimes the only stat that counts is on the scoreboard. I thought we had the edge on pretty much everything,” Cota said. “Their goalie played well.
“But I thought we did everything right.”
Though the Demons’ scoring chances were ramped in every period, it was Senn who faced the ultimate test late in the game.
Tied 0-0 with less than two minutes left in the third period, Senn made a spectacular glove save on a wide-open Cheyenne Mountain forward Philip Bramble.
“He was solid all year,” Cota said of Senn. “It’s a 0-0 game in triple overtime, and he was poised.”
Less than 10 seconds later, Furda freed himself up for a breakaway, forcing Demons junior defenseman Jase Joslin to slash Furda to tamper with his shot. This sent Joslin to the box with about 1:46 left in the period.
Despite being down a man, the Demons held off Cheyenne Mountain’s attack and killed the penalty early in the first overtime period. Things were still left undecided in the second overtime period, with both teams giving up and killing penalties.
“We didn’t panic,” Cota said. “We had a job to do. We did it the best we could.”
The game was essentially all Demons prior to overtime.
In the first period, thanks to good, neutral zone defense, Glenwood maintained puck possession in their offensive zone almost the entire frame.
Sophomore forward Ryan Rigney took a steal from the blueline and found himself on a breakaway at 14:50. He’d get stuffed, however, by Renholm.
Later in the period, Demons sophomore defenseman Lucas Chartier would get called on a hooking penalty, putting Glenwood down a man. But the Red-Tailed Hawks weren’t allowed one shot on net during their powerplay.
Senn would see some action in the front of the net, freezing the puck at 6:02 and making a glove save at 4:23. The Demons later went on the power play after Cheyenne’s Hank Walsh committed a tripping penalty at 3:40. The Demons went into the second period outshooting Cheyenne 10-3.
Things still remained stagnant in the second period but not without plenty of scoring chances for the Demons. The Demons would nab two powerplay chances but were left scoreless by a stingy Renholm.
Senn also kept the Red-Tailed Hawks out of the net after senior Ryder Rondeau got called for slashing at 11:40 in the period.
The Demons later came back and arguably created their best scoring chances all night. At 3:30 left in the second, Rondeau worked the puck behind Renholm’s net and got a pass out front to senior Carson Miller for a shot right into Renholm’s breadbasket.
With about two minutes remaining in the second period, Lucas Chartier shot it glove side on Renholm but he was stopped.
The Demons ended the period leading shots on net, 17-5.
In third period of action, the Demons’ best scoring chance came at the 7:14 mark, when junior Jacob Barlow got a shot on net but it trickled just wide.
After taking second place in all of Colorado’s 4A League, the Demons end their season with 17 wins and five losses. They lose eight seniors.
“Obviously, it stings to end that way, but when you look back at what we accomplished and what we’ve done and what we did with this group in that locker room, we’re proud,” Cota said
“We’ll be back. We’ll be back.”
Post Independent western Garfield County reporter and Assistant Editor Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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