Grizzlies hockey goes undefeated and wins Vail tourney

The Grizzlies take on a team from Las Vegas during a tournament in Vail.
Courtesy/TK Kwiatkowski

Glenwood Springs Grizzlies 18U Hockey shot off to a stellar start to the 2022 season by going undefeated and winning the 43rd Annual Vail Sportsmanship Tournament Sept. 30-Oct. 2.

“One of our team objectives was to get stronger as the tournament progressed,” Grizzlies coach Tim Cota said. “That objective was certainly achieved on Sunday.”

The Grizzlies won five of six games played, tying IND Summit Tigers 1-1 in game five of the tournament. Glenwood Springs ended the tourney, however, outsourcing their opponents 19-5.

Glenwood Springs came back and bested Summit 5-1 in the championship game. 

Grizzlies coach Nick Senn talks with his team.
Courtesy/TK Kwiatkowski

Leading scorer for the Grizzlies was Ryder Rondeau, notching 7 goals and 1 assist. Grizzlies goaltender Marek Senn produced a .75 goals against average and a .969% save percentage.

Grizzlies player Ian Cole said they progressed through the weekend by starting to finish when it comes to scoring goals.

“In our first game, we had tons of opportunities to score but could only capitalize twice besides an empty net goal,” he said. “In the finals, we were really putting it all together and managed five (goals).”

Rondeau, joining Glenwood Springs from Aspen, scored his first goal as a Grizzly, which turned out to be a game winner. Cole noted this as one of the tournament highlights.

Grizzly player Jack Fry in warmups.
Courtesy/TK Kwiatkowski

Aspen players have been coming to Glenwood now that its varsity program was placed on hold this year.

“Our attitude on the bench was fairly good despite not being able to score as much as we could’ve,” Cole said. “I’m looking forward to the next two tournaments to see more competition in preparation for (the) Demon season.”

The Grizzlies started last week’s tournament with a 3-1 win over out-of-state-team Las Vegas Storm. Glenwood also went on to beat Mullen and Vail on the road to the championship.

Cota said Glenwood had line-up obstacles to overcome, with new line mates and changes, but the team handled it in stride well, and that their maturity developed nicely.

Grizzly Player Ian Cole skates with trophy to finish out a tournament in Vail.
Courtesy/TK Kwiatkowski

“At times, our sense of urgency seemed to be lacking, but, at one point or another, someone was able to bring a spark. Whether that was our tendies, defensemen or forwards, it was definitely a balanced effort.”

Fellow Grizzlies coach Nick Senn said it was a great weekend for the team to start building chemistry.

“We now are getting kids from four different school districts, so there is a bit of adjusting to each other,” he said. “It is also exciting going into the season knowing that the Glenwood teams are going to have the luxury of depth of talent that we haven’t had in the past.”

Cole agreed.

“It was exciting to win this tournament because we know we can handle our local competition in the coming high school season and push for a state title this year.”

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