Demons hockey skates its way back into 4A playoff hunt
After a rough stretch through the middle of February, the Glenwood Springs High School boys hockey team is back in postseason contention following three straight wins.
The Demons rebounded from losses to Battle Mountain, Aspen and two to Crested Butte to score two wins over Aspen (5-0 and 5-2) and another over Summit (5-2) during a four-day stretch last week.
Now with four wins, four losses and a tie, Glenwood sits in third place in the Class 4A Mountain League behind Crested Butte and Battle Mountain, with a No. 7 state RPI ranking.
Glenwood closes out the season this week with a pair of home dates at the Glenwood Springs Community Center Ice Rink, Friday against Summit and Saturday versus Steamboat Springs.
At stake is one of the COVID-19-limited four spots in the 4A state playoffs come next week.
“We had been playing well up to that point last week but not scoring and playing well enough defensively in front of our tendies,” Demons head coach Tim Cota said in an emailed statement.
“We tightened up some team defensive mistakes and started being more opportunistic on offense. The result was improved offensive attack and stifling team defense along with some stellar goaltending,” Cota said, giving a shoutout to Glenwood’s goal-tending tandem of senior Daelan Renzi and sophomore Hunter Oger.
The duo recorded a combined 68 saves over the three-game stretch, while the Demons offense combined for a whopping 100 shots on goal, finding the back of the net 15 times.
Assistant coach Rich Luetke said he was solely focused on his forwards improving on defense through the week’s slate of games.
“We were playing well enough to hang in those close games, but we have to support our goalies a bit better,” he said.
Added assistant coach Bryan Gonzales, “We had to simplify our breakouts with our (defense), and our forwards were getting caught out of position. We made some nice adjustments.”
Scoring for the Demons in the Feb. 25 game at Summit were Nolan McPherson (3), Ross Barlow (1) and Traven Hammon (1).
In the first of two games against Aspen on the road at Lewis Ice Arena Feb. 24, Glenwood had goals from Colter Strautman (2) Max Mencimer (2) and Robbie Weir (1).
And, in the Feb. 27 shutout win over the Skiers, it was Strautman (2), Barlow (1), Jett Weatherred (1) and Avner Mangeot (1) doing the damage for the Demons.
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