Grizzlies play three games in 24 hours |

Grizzlies play three games in 24 hours

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kara K. Pearson Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” A centering pass from Chris Abshire scooted under the stick of Grant Wood as time expired, quashing hopes of an upset for the Glenwood Grizzlies Major A hockey team over the visiting Greeley Stampeders.

That the near-miss held relevance was a good thing, though, as a clean connection on the one-timer would have knotted the Saturday afternoon game, which went to Greeley by a count of 5-4.

Considering the Grizzlies entered the final period trailing 4-2 and fell behind by as many three goals in the frame, Glenwood flashed plenty of mettle by scoring two late goals, and nearly a third.

Oh, and the Grizzlies did all that in their third game in less than 24 hours, after beating Denver Country Club, 3-2, earlier that morning and tying DCC, 2-2, the night prior.

“It was a tough weekend,” said Glenwood’s Soren Phibbs. “Back to back to back games in 24 hours is tough. We started to get (our energy) back at the end, but it caught up to us.”

Phibbs assisted a first-period goal by Tony Bosco, a two-on-one breakaway dish that, at the time, put the Grizzlies up 2-1. Off an assist from Dylan Cook, Nate Miller opened the game with a scoring strike 33 seconds in.

Those were the last leads Glenwood would hold, however, as the Stampeders scored four times in the first period, spent a sizable chunk of a scoreless second period on the power play, and then did just enough to hold off hard-charging Grizzlies in the third to preserve the win.

“We were doing well, but in the first period, defensively, we just had one of those breakdowns,” Grizzlies coach Tim Cota said.

The Glenwood penalty-killing lines earned their keep in the middle frame, icing four power plays ” including a 1 minute, 3 second stretch of five-on-three play.

But playing shorthanded doesn’t much help an offense, leaving the Grizzlies down 4-2 to start the third.

“That really didn’t help us in the second period, taking those penalties,” Cota noted, “but the kids reacted well.”

After Greeley’s Jay Weber put his team up 5-2 with a goal at the 10:30 mark in the third, the Grizzlies found another gear.

With 9:30 remaining Miller and Cook connected to produce a goal for a second time, with Miller again doing the scoring honors.

Despite peppering Greeley goalkeeper Christopher Sjodin with shots down the stretch, and despite playing with a man and two-man advantage in the waning moments, the Grizzlies didn’t find the scoreboard until 12.8 seconds remained.

That’s when a shot by Daniel Abshire, popping out for a close-range try from behind the net, deflected out to Chris Abshire, who jammed the puck home to pull the Grizzlies within one.

Glenwood generated its chances in the finals seconds, but just ran out of clock, as Cota and the Grizzlies could only take solace in making a close game out of a potential blowout.

“We just had a mental lapse there in the first,” the coach said. “The kids responded well in the third. They didn’t give up.”

Glenwood goalie Seth Carmitchel faced a steady stream of shots on goal, stopping 48 Greeley shots. The Grizzlies put 27 shots on goal.

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