Grizzlies pick up two wins, tie in ‘home’ opener
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
This past weekend the Glenwood Grizzlies Midget Major A hockey team kicked off its “home” season with three games – two against Durango and one against Moffat County.
Glenwood’s season started three weeks ago with a trip to Durango, where it played the team twice, as well as Crested Butte twice. The Grizzlies left Durango with a record of 2-2, losing to Crested Butte and beating Durango.
This season is unique for the Grizzlies due to the fact that more than half the team is comprised of underclassmen. Over the first weekend in Durango, these young players received their first taste of league hockey. They caught on quickly and were frisky for more action this past weekend.
The weekend played out at the Eagle ice rink on the other side of Glenwood Canyon due to previous engagements at the Glenwood rink. So, even though Glenwood was technically the “home” team, neither squad truly had home ice advantage.
The first of the games was played on Saturday morning against Durango.
Durango, upset by its previous losses to Glenwood, was motivated to come out and play hard, and that is what they did.
After a defensive, back-and-forth first period, Glenwood’s Chaz Apostolik, a freshman, scored the first goal with an assist from freshman Steele Featherstone. Durango fired right back with a goal just over a minute later, ensuring that it would not stay behind.
The second period began with a tie score of 1-all. That is how it stayed.
Both teams battled it out, back and forth, all period long. Stingy goaltending by the Grizzlies’ Jackson Sandell kept the score the way it was, as did the Durango netminder.
Although both teams worked hard and received chances, the goaltending and defensive play ensured that the second period ended the way it began, with the game tied at 1.
The third period continued where the second left off, with both teams battling for chances but not capitalizing on them. Halfway through the period, however, Glenwood senior Joseph Capraro found the back of the net, with an assist from Apostolik.
The Glenwood defense continued to play well throughout the rest of the period and stepped off the ice with a win, 2-1.
Grizzlies top Moffat County
The Grizzlies did not have much time to rest, as they were ready and dressed to play a few hours later against a visiting Moffat County team.
Glenwood came out firing, with the first goal by senior Levi Fetterhoff off an assist by senior Cameron Avery. However, Moffat fired right back with a goal of its own, ending the first period, 1-1.
That last goal at the end of the period seemed fire Glenwood up, as it came out in the second period and became a relentless offensive force.
Just 35 seconds in, Apostolik put in the first of a four-goal streak for Glenwood, with an assist from Featherstone. Next, Apostolik scored again, then Avery twice, with assists from Featherstone, freshmen Tias Dacuma, Fetterhoff, and senior Cameron Dacuma.
The second period ended, 5-1, in Glenwood’s favor.
The Grizzlies remained strong on defense in the third period, resulting in a scoreless final frame, and a 5-1 win.
Goalie and junior Alex Parrish held the opposing team to just one goal.
Durango rematch ends in a tie
Glenwood then had a rest until its second game against Durango the next day.
Both teams prepared for another battle, which is exactly how the game played out. As if the two teams’ first encounter had never ended, the first period started off with high, back-and-forth intensity. It remained this way until Apostolik put in the first goal, with an assist by Featherstone.
Durango snagged a goal at the end of the period to tie it up before the third started.
The third period began with another goal by Durango, increasing its lead by one. The period continued as the rest of the game had, with back-and-forth action by both teams, with goalie Jake Fegan keeping Glenwood in the game. That is, until Durango put the puck in the back of the net again, toward the end of the game, putting the Grizzlies behind by two.
With just under three minutes left, it seemed as if the Grizzlies had no hope. That is, until Cameron Dacuma put in two goals for the Grizzlies within nine seconds. The forwards charged the net, and Dacuma scrambled to put the puck in. The assists came from Fetterhoff.
The game ended in a 3-all tie.
Glenwood finished the weekend with two wins and a tie.
Now, the Grizzlies prepare for their first real home games against Denver Country Club and Northern Colorado Youth Hockey this weekend.
The Grizzlies will gear up on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 1:30 p.m. against NCYH, and 7:45 p.m. They play again on Sunday, Dec. 11, at 8:45 a.m. against DCC, once again at the Glenwood Springs Community Center ice rink.
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