Grizzlies open season at Twisted Wrister tournament
Following a long offseason, the Glenwood Grizzlies’ U18 hockey team opened up the season at the 7th annual Twisted Wrister tournament in Littleton, Aug. 30 to Sept. 3. At the tournament, Glenwood tied with Hyland Hills atop the tournament standings with 10 points, but through a number of tiebreakers Glenwood won the tournament championship.
““It was a phenomenal team effort this weekend,” Glenwood junior captain Jacob Fowler said. “We were able to collectively lift each other up and brought home the hardware with a balanced attack.”
Glenwood opened the tournament Friday, Aug. 31 with a matchup against FC Varsity T2, winning 3-2 at Ice Ranch TBird Rink. Trailing 1-0 early in the first period, Jacob Fowler got the Grizzlies on the board with an even-strength goal at 4:26 of the first period, thanks to assists from Sean Mooney and Connor Powell, knotting the game up at 1-1.
In the second period, Ryan Kotz gave Glenwood a 2-1 lead at the 7:13 mark of the second period, before Kotz added a second goal in the third period at 13:18 off of assists from Robbie Weir and Cody Roberts, giving the Grizzlies a 3-1 win. FC Varsity T2 added a late goal to make it a 3-2 game, but the Grizzlies were able to come away with the win. In net, Hunter Hadsock stopped 17 of 18 shots on the day for Glenwood.
Coming off of the 3-2 win, Glenwood returned to action Saturday, Sept. 1 against Hyland Hills and promptly dropped an 8-2 decision. Hyland Hills held a 4-1 lead after one period of play as Roberts scored a first-period goal for the Grizzlies. Traven Hammond found the back of the net in the second period off of an assist from Colter Strautman to make it a 4-2 game, but Hyland Hills scored four third-period goals to put the game away.
Glenwood bounced back in the third game of the tournament, topping Mountain Vista JV 9-1 Saturday afternoon as Kotz recorded a hat trick, Fowler and Jeason Brown scored two goals each, and Owen Mangeot and Strautman scored one goal each in the blowout win for the Grizzlies. In net, Owen McConaughy stopped 11 of 12 shots to pick up the win.
“You’ve have to respond positively from adversity, and we had our share of that,” Glenwood head coach Tim Cota said. “We fought through it and, overall, maintained our composure when adversity hit us pretty hard, from key situational penalties to mad scrambles in front of our net to injuries. The boys responded quite nicely. There’s much work to do though, but a great start.”
On Sunday, Glenwood stayed hot, topping Valor Varsity T2 4-1, as Devlin Powell, Hammond, and Strautman scored first-period goals for the Grizzlies, before William Bingaman scored at the 12:29 mark of the third period to give the Grizzlies a 4-1 lead that they’d never relinquish against Valor. Hadsock stood tall in net again, stopping 20 of 21 shots to backstop the Grizzlies to another win.
On the final day of the tournament, Glenwood opened up Labor Day with a 5-2 win over Parker-Chaparral T2 as Mooney and Kotz opened the scoring in the first period for Glenwood, with Hunter Lohse assisting on Kotz’s goal, giving the Grizzlies a 2-0 lead.
Parker-Chaparral tied the game at 2-2 in the second, before Strautman gave Glenwood a 3-2 lead late in the period off of an assist from Mooney. In the third, Weir and Kotz made it a 5-2 game, giving the Grizzlies the win as Hadsock stopped an astounding 44 of 46 shots in the win.
Taking on Hyland Hills in the final game of the tournament, Glenwood picked up a 4-2 win. In the first period of the rematch, Mooney, Strautman, and Kotz gave the Grizzlies a 3-0 lead quickly, as Mooney and Kotz scored power-play goals, while Strautman potted his goal short-handed. The two teams remained scoreless in the second period, but Hyland Hills made it a 3-2 game quickly in the third period. Glenwood didn’t blink though, as Brown potted an empty net goal late in the period to give the Grizzlies the win. In net, Hadsock stood on his head again, stopping 35 of 37 shots to pick up the win.
“What a great showing by these young student athletes,” Glenwood assistant coach and director T.K. Kwiatkowski said. “It was refreshing to be able to bench coach these young men, many of whom I have previously coached at the 8U and 10U age level. The way they responded this past weekend reinforces the core values and aspirations we instill from the very early ages within our Grizzly Hockey organization.”