Grizzlies turn in solid showing in Colorado Cup
With a second-place finish from the Bantam A (14U) team and a third-place finish from the 18U High School Midget team, the Glenwood Grizzlies hockey program turned in a strong showing at the Colorado Cup this past weekend.
Taking on the San Antonio Rampage Major and the North Colorado Youth Hockey programs, the Grizzlies picked up two wins and a tie in the weekend series, leading to a third place finish.
Against the Rampage on Friday, Glenwood received a first-period goal from Billet Porter, two third-period goals from Erich Albrecht and one goal each from Porter and Brody Bittner to pull out a 5-3 victory over San Antonio.
Matthew Thrun, Cole Shavalier and Porter added assists in the win. Netminder Jake Fegan stopped 20 of 23 shots in the win before being pulled in the third period to allow the extra skater to come on for the Grizzlies.
In game two against Northern Colorado, the two teams battled to a 4-4 tie as Keegan Winger netted a hat trick, with two of his three goals coming in the third period to tie the game.
Blake Cloutier added two assists for Glenwood, while Thrun and Travis Leahy added one assist each. Netminder Josh Cook stopped 17 of 21 shots in the tie.
Taking on Northern Colorado once again, the Grizzlies came out on top, 3-2 in overtime, as Albrecht netted two goals with Porter adding one in the win.
Albrecht found the back of the net in the first and third periods, while Porter’s goal came in the first period to stretch the Grizzlies’ lead to 2-0 after one.
The duo of Albrecht and Porter finished with three points in the win, while Fegan stopped 27 of 29 shots to backstop Glenwood to victory.
Before the final stretch of games, the Grizzlies lost on New Year’s Eve to the cup champion, Hyland Hills, 4-1.
“It was a team effort all the way around the entire weekend,” Grizzlies head coach Tim Cota said. “Everyone contributed to the cause in one way or another; that’s what we need from this group. Overall, we are struggling in the second periods and we need to address that problem, but first and third periods are our strong suit at the moment. Outside of that, we were poised all weekend, we didn’t lose our composure when we were down or a shift didn’t go our way, and we stuck with our systems for the most part and it paid off for us; but we need to address our lull in the second period.”
While the 18U team finished off a strong weekend with a victory, the Bantam A (14U) team outdid the major team with a second-place finish thanks to wins over Arapahoe, CSAHA and YMCA before falling to the New Mexico Ice Wolves in two games to finish second overall.
Against Arapahoe to kick off the weekend, Sean Mooney, Colter Strautman, Sean Sullivan and Max Mencimer found the back of the net in the win. Sullivan added two assists for Glenwood, while Rio Kauffman stopped 16 shots in the win.
In game two, the Grizzlies came up short against New Mexico, falling 2-1, before bouncing back in game three against CSAHA with a 7-1 victory.
Against CSAHA, the Grizzlies received two goals each from Tyson Trujillo and Cole Houston, while Luke Grimaldi, Carter Cloutier and Strautman added goals in the win.
Kauffman followed up his shutout against Arapahoe with a 15-save performance against CSAHA.
Building off of the six-goal win over CSAHA, the Grizzlies continued their offensive onslaught with a 7-0 win over the YMCA Buffs Bantam A team.
Cooper Knott, Trujillo, Cloutier, Mencimer, Sullivan, Grimaldi and McPherson found the back of the net for the Grizzlies, who outshot the Buffs 40-10 in a dominating performance.
Kauffman pitched another shutout in net, stopping all 10 shots he faced.
With a match-up against New Mexico looming with a championship on the line, Glenwood came up just short in a 3-2 loss as Lara Truelove and Sullivan found the back of the net for the Grizzlies, who held a 2-0 lead after one period. Unfortunately, the Ice Wolves scored three unanswered goals to pick up the win.
Despite falling in overtime in the championship game, Grizzly head coach Adam McPherson was very proud of the way the kids battled all weekend against strong competition.
“Once again these young hockey players overachieved, battling all the way to the finals only to come up short in overtime,” McPherson said. “Coach Mencimer and myself have a new level of respect for how hard they played.”
In other game action over the weekend, the Bantam B (14U) team finished 2-2-0 as they entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed coming out of pool play before falling in the semifinals.
The PeeWee A team finished 1-3-0 over the weekend, while the PeeWee B team and the Squirt B teams had rough weekends as they were unable to pick up wins.
While the Colorado Cup was successful for the Grizzly hockey program, the Mite Grizzlies program had a chance to experience something that not many kids 8-and-under don’t get to experience in their lifetimes: skating on NHL regulation ice.
On Jan. 2 during an intermission of the Avalanche-Flames game at the Pepsi Center, the Mite team had a chance to skate during intermission in an intramural match-up as members of the “mini Avs,” according to Grizzly program director, TK Kwiatkowski.
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