Grizzly mites shave ice, score goals — and fall over — at home jamboree |

Grizzly mites shave ice, score goals — and fall over — at home jamboree

8U players, from left, Leigh Conant and Leighton Lavin sit on the bench at the Glenwood Springs Ice Rink on Saturday. Standing in the background is coach Tim Lavin.
Courtesy photo/TK Kwiatkowski

Giant smiles were all over the ice this past weekend as the Glenwood Springs Youth Hockey Association and Grizzly Hockey hosted its annual 8U Mite Jamboree.

Saturday’s Jamboree is historically held in early December and it’s one of the first 8U mite events of its kind on the Western Slope.

“8U games are often the most fun to watch,” 8U Mite Director and Coach Justine Smith said. “There were tons of little players on the ice here last weekend learning to be great teammates, accomplishing goals and falling over in piles from all the effort.

“What’s not to love?”

Gunner Krause takes the net for the 8U Grizzly mites at Glenwood Springs Ice Rink on Saturday.
Courtesy photo/TK Kwiatkowski

More than 100 families typically participate in this event. It features 8U youth hockey players from all over the Western Slope.

Glenwood Springs Youth Hockey Goalie Coach Alex Parrish said this year’s 8 and under Jamboree was a huge success, and that there’s nothing better than having the 8U players playing their absolute hearts out.

“They displayed great sportsmanship, competitiveness, and most importantly, a giant smile,” he said. “All of the programs involved are doing a great job in growing the game we all love. I am so fortunate to be a part of it.”

All teams played a minimum of four, half-ice games, each 30 minutes in length and with short breaks in between. 

“It’s a great event and it’s always a lot of fun to see the young ones starting to fall in love with hockey,” 8U coach Jesse Krause said. 

Though scores aren’t kept, the players themselves keep score. Both Grizzly 8U hockey teams went unofficially undefeated under this method of play.

Fellow 8U coach Bret Conant said the kids had a blast playing on their home rink.

“There were lots of smiling faces out on the ice,” he said. “It’s great to meet new people and see some friendly faces from the other clubs in our region.”

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