Grizzlies claim Bantam A championship
The Glenwood Grizzlies Bantam A team capped off a great Continental Divide Youth Hockey League season with the league championship, rolling through the playoffs this past weekend to claim the cup.
In action Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Grizzlies outscored their opponents 9-2 to roll to the championship.
Kicking off action Friday against the West Elk Bantam A team, the Grizzlies picked up a 2-0 win as Cooper Knott netted a shorthanded goal just 1:01 into the second period off of an assist from Tyson Trujillo to give the Grizzlies a 1-0 lead.
From there, Glenwood and West Elk played a back-and-forth game before Grizzly forward Billy Johnson found the back of the net midway through the third period off of assists from Knott and Lara Trulove to cap off the scoring for the Grizzlies, allowing them to advance to the second round of the playoffs.
In the win, netminder Rio Kauffman stopped all 13 shots for the shutout.
Picking up action again on Saturday, the Grizzlies were able to triumph over their rival in the Aspen Leafs Bantam A team by a 4-1 score.
Against the Leafs, Ryan Kotz netted a second period goal at the 6:10 mark to pace the Grizzlies to a 1-0 lead before Sean Mooney added another goal late in the period to give Glenwood a 2-0 lead after two periods of play.
In the third period, Aspen scored a goal to close the gap to 2-1, but a short-handed goal from Knott assisted by Trulove and an even-strength goal from Knott assisted by Max Mencimer capped off the 4-1 win.
Kauffman stopped 18 of 19 shots in the win, setting up another showdown with West Elk on Sunday for the championship.
The Grizzlies raced out to a 1-0 lead just under five minutes into the game as Kolter Strautman netted a first-period goal at the 4:45 mark off of assists from Kelton McPherson and Mooney.
After a scoreless second period, the Grizzlies extended their lead to 2-0 as McPherson found the back of the net early in the period off of assists from Kotz and Mooney.
Carter Cloutier added another goal just over three minutes later to widen the lead to 3-0 off of an assist from Mooney, who finished with three points — all assists — in the championship game to lead Glenwood to victory.
Kauffman stopped 14 of 15 shots in the win.
“This team has overachieved all season with the CDYHL Championship being one of our team goals from day one,” Grizzlies head coach Adam McPherson said. “Against solid competition we played our game and style and came out on top”
Outside of Bantam A action, the Glenwood Bantam B team turned in a second place finish in their playoffs, going 1-2-0 over the weekend.
Taking on Vail, Friday, the Grizzlies dropped a 1-0 decision in overtime.
In the second game of the weekend, Glenwood picked up a 4-1 win over the Aspen Bantam B team.
Against Aspen, Dylan Webster scored a quick goal just 1:31 into the first period as Jacob Fowler provided the lone assist, giving the Grizzlies a 1-0 lead.
In the second period, Webster added a second goal as Cole Hawkinson provided the lone assist at the 2:56 mark. Just under three minutes later Hawkinson added a goal of his own as Fowler dished out his second assist of the game.
Aspen answered with a goal just under two minutes later to close the gap to 3-1 heading into the third period.
In the final period, Fowler found the back of the net late in the period while short-handed, capping the scoring for both teams.
Netminder Hunter Hadsock stopped 20 of 21 shots to backstop the Grizzlies to the win.
In the championship game Sunday against Vail, the Grizzlies lost a heartbreaker in overtime as they found the back of the net, but officials ruled it no goal, taking the win away from the boys. Just a few minutes after the overturned call, Vail found the back of the net to win the championship by a score of 3-2.
Prior to overtime, Fowler scored a second-period goal thanks to assists from Hawkinson and Tomas Bensch, and Webster followed up under a minute later with a goal of his own, giving Glenwood a 2-0 lead off of assists from Fowler and Hunter Loshe.
Hadsock stopped 27 of 30 shots in the loss.
Outside of Bantam action, the Grizzlies’ Pee Wee A team and Squirt B teams turned in third-place finishes.
The Pee Wee A team fought hard and qualified for the semifinals, but a short bench and a limited break between games ultimately did in the Grizzlies.
The Squirt B team played very well thanks to heart and hustle. According to athletic director TK Kwiatkowski, the Squirt B team has a solid young core to work with moving forward.
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