Grizzlies hit busy stretch in hockey schedule
The Grizzlies are busy. Busy. Busy. Busy.
With a schedule like an Olympic tournament, the Glenwood Springs Grizzlies midget hockey club team has been skating like crazy.
With a brutal stretch of six games over two weekends, the local high school-age hockey club team has been logging ice time in continuous stretches.
A week ago, the team hit the road for four games in two days, winning three of four.
And last weekend, the Grizzlies split games with Eagle and Crested Butte on the home ice of the Glenwood Springs Ice Rink.
The Grizzlies picked up an 8-3 win over Crested Butte to go with an 8-4 loss to Eagle, after an arduous four-game road trip last week.
On the road, the Grizzlies opened against a strong Craig team. With a short roster, the Grizzlies fell behind early to the physical Craig team, eventually losing 11-1.
“Craig had a hard-working, stronger team on the ice in that particular game,” said Glenwood Springs coach Tim Cota.
The local skaters managed an early goal from Cody “Canada” Seitz. But Craig controlled the ice from there on.
But in the very next game, the Grizzlies rebounded against Crested Butte and picked up a 4-3 victory.
“Coach (Tom) Willcoxen was adamant in changing up the lineup and we decided to go with it,” Cota said.
The new lines sparked a hard-hitting forecheck that troubled Crested Butte.
“We started winning the battles in the corners and coming out with the puck,” Cota said.
Senior forward Chris Cooper started the scoring for the Grizzlies with a first-period goal off a pass from senior forward Brandon Chicoine.
“Brandon and Chris worked extremely hard and played a physical game in Crested Butte’s end,” the head coach added.
“Ben “Goose” Guska added two goals .
Assisting on the goals were Chicoine and Trevor Hinkey.
Crested Butte pulled back within one goal going into the third period.
Cooper then added his second goal of the game, assisted by Dane Reardon. Reardon skated end-to-end, drove hard on the net and put a pass right on Cooper’s blade. He then banged the puck into the net.
“We responded well to the lineup changes,” Willcoxen said of the Grizzlies. “We got a few of our missing players back and were able to come out with a nice `W’,” he added.
The following day the team drove from Craig to Breckenridge.
Seitz opened the scoring as the Grizzlies started the first of two wins against Breckenridge.
The Grizzlies added two more goals in he second period fro Chicoine and Luedke. Assists went to Cooper and Guska.
And the Grizzlies, with key defensive plays from Mark Gould and Andre Orcutt, held on for the 3-2 victory.
“All of our defensemen had strong games for us … they played well as a unit,” Willcoxen said.
Cota also praised the forwards and the hard forechecking game.
The fourth and final game of the weekend proved an endurance test for the Griz.
And the Griz won 4-2.
Glenwood scored first with Chicoine converting a 2-on-1 opportunity with Cooper.
Breckenridge rebounded and took a 2-1 lead into the second period.
“We had some mental lapses and penalties in the first period and we lost our focus,” Cota said of the fatigued Grizzlies.
But the second and third periods provided different stories.
Glenwood outscored Breckenridge 3-0 over the final two periods.
Guska tied the game 2-2 at 6:30 of the second period on a goal assisted by Cooper and Erin Young.
Cooper added the go-ahead goal in the second period, assisted by senior defenseman Hinkey.
“Luedke added second goal to secure the 4-2 victory.
He was assisted by Young, her second assist of the game.
“Erin played exceptional in both games against Breckenridge,” Willcoxen said.
The Grizzlies, 5-4-1 on the season, return to home ice this weekend. They will host Telluride in a Friday/Saturday doubleheader at the Glenwood Springs Ice Rink.
The Friday night game is scheduled for 7:45 p.m.
The Saturday game is set for 9:30 a.m.
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