Glenwood Grizzlies lose close game to Leafs
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Dylan Cook’s bullet of a shot found the upper corner of the net and the Glenwood Grizzlies midget major A hockey team appeared to be wrestling away momentum from its upvalley rival.
A two-goal deficit had been trimmed to one and the Grizzlies had a sizable home crowd to draw energy from as they took on the visiting Aspen Leafs.
But, just as they did earlier in the game, the Leafs responded with a heartbreaking goal.
Charly Colver delivered the crippling blow, poking home a rebound just 39 seconds after Cook gave the Grizzlies hope. The third-period goal sealed Thursday’s 4-2 win for the visiting Leafs, who polished off a regular-season sweep of Glenwood.
“We felt like maybe we could turn it around,” said Cook, whose goal came 44 seconds into the third period, “but we let that goal in right after. That killed us. If we could have just picked up our defensive zone.”
The loss means the Grizzlies will have to work a little harder to make the postseason. They’ll close out the regular season this weekend with a pair of home games on Saturday, another on Sunday and then a Monday trip to Vail Eagle.
The top four teams in the Continental Divide Youth Hockey League make the playoffs and the Grizzlies (3-7-1, seven points) are battling Vail Eagle (3-9-2, eight points) for the final spot.
“We’ll have to pick it up if we want to make the playoffs,” said Cook, a sophomore at Coal Ridge High School.
Cook’s Grizzlies were in good shape early in Thursday’s contest, with Tony Bosco taking a Grant Wood pass and finding net with a short-range shot to give the home team a 1-0 lead just 2 minutes, 53 seconds in.
Just as it would do in the third period, Aspen wasted little time countering. Colver scored 27 seconds later to tie the game and Daniel Kelso put the Leafs on top with a goal 5:23 into the opening period.
Christopher Dreher gave Aspen a 3-1 lead with a second-period goal, setting the stage for Cook and Colver’s third-period heroics.
Wood assisted both of the Grizzlies’ goals on the night and Glenwood goaltender Michael Brunk stopped 18 of the 22 shots he faced. Aspen’s John Piccianati made 21 saves.
The Leafs defeated the Grizzlies 2-1 in each of the teams’ two previous meetings this season.
“It’s always tough to lose to them,” Cook said. “This was our worst game (against them).”
The midget major Grizzlies, made up of 15- to 18-year-olds from Glenwood Springs and the surrounding area, will face the Junior Eagles of Lakewood at 8:15 a.m. Saturday and then battle Denver Country Club later that night at 7:45 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. Monday’s contest at Eagle Vail is slated for 7:30 p.m.
“We need some points to make the playoffs,” Grizzlies coach Jon Thompson said. “We’d like to control our own destiny rather than have to win against Vail.”
Vail Eagle’s only remaining regular-season game is its meeting with Glenwood.
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