Grizzlies win Silver Sticks, give back to community
The Glenwood Grizzlies Bantam A hockey team has gotten off to a blistering start in the 2016-17 season. Recently, the Grizzlies Bantam A team won the prestigious Silver Sticks Rocky Mountain Championship just weeks after winning the Aspen Fall Faceoff tournament to start the year.
By winning the Silver Sticks tournament, the Grizzlies have automatically qualified for a spot in the national Silver Sticks tournament in Port Huron, Michigan, in January, putting the Grizzlies on the national stage.
In the Silver Sticks tournament, Glenwood started things off by topping Foothills Bantam A by a score of 7-1, before then posting back-to-back shutouts of Arvada Bantam A Black and Bantam A Navy by a combined score of 7-0 as Daelen Renzi stopped a total of 17 shots across both wins.
Taking on the BHC Bantam A in game four, Glenwood was triumphant by a 5-1 score as Max Mencimer got things started just over two minutes into the game with an even strength goal to give the Grizzlies a 1-0 lead. BHC Bantam A would tie the game midway through the first period, sending the two teams into intermission tied at 1-1.
From there, the Grizzlies would score four unanswered goals as Kobe Ottosen found the back of the net in the second period off an assist from Nolan McPherson, while Sean Mooney (2) and Kelton McPherson found the back of the net in the third period to cap off the 5-1 win.
Renzi stood tall in net for Glenwood, stopping 13 of 14 shots for the win.
In the fifth game, Glenwood picked up a 4-3 win over Littleton Bantam A Red as the Grizzlies battled back from an early 2-0 deficit to win as Mooney got Glenwood on the board early in the third period before Dillon Passero would tie the game at 2-all. Littleton would answer with a goal to take the lead before Braden Carmichael netted two quick goals to give Glenwood the 4-3 win as Renzi stopped 10 of 13 shots.
In the final game, Glenwood topped Littleton Bantam A Black by a 3-1 score as Passero, Carmichael and Mencimer all lit the red lamp in the win, giving Glenwood the championship.
“The boys are really filling in the pieces of our team chemistry taking on roles that they may have not had to play in the past,” Glenwood Bantam A Head Coach Adam McPherson said. “With some of our players that have had the opportunity to share the once in a lifetime Silver Sticks experience, to lead some of our newer players through the preparation physically and mentally that it takes to come out on top on after a long tough week of tournament play, facing our regions toughest opponents and coming out 6-0 is very impressive from this group of boys. As coaches we can’t wait to explore the remainder of this season’s challenges facing teams from several states and Canada in the upcoming months.”
Off the ice, the Grizzly Bantam A team put in a ton of work as well, volunteering at the Children’s Hospital in Denver, where the athletes brought gifts, attended volunteer training, hosted a craft party for patients and their families, and received a hospital tour. This is just the start for the Bantam A team, which plans on giving back to communities when on the road this season, which is making waves in the youth hockey community of Colorado.
“It felt good to do something nice for others,” Tyson Trujillo said.
While the Bantam A was busy winning the Silver Sticks championship, the Glenwood Midget 18U team was hosting its annual Holiday Tournament in Glenwood against teams from Aspen, Arapahoe, Utah and Craig.
In the championship round, Craig was able to outlast the Glenwood Purple squad by a score of 6-5 in a 12-man shootout. The team from Utah topped the team from Arapahoe 2-1 in a penalty-infested affair, while the Glenwood Silver team fell to Aspen in a close 3-1 battle giving up a late game goal, plus an empty netter, to give Aspen the tournament championship.
“Grizzly Hockey would like to thank the city of Glenwood Springs Tourism Grant Fund for support hosting this event,” Grizzly executive director TK Kwiatkowsi said. “This Holiday Festival is very exciting for both our local area, along with the surrounding Western Slope region. With the help and support of the city of Glenwood Springs, the Glenwood Springs Community Center, and countless Grizzly Hockey families and volunteers, we were proud to host the largest ever hockey event in the history of Glenwood Springs. We can’t wait to grow the tournament in the future.”