Grizzlies win comeback, 4-3
Post Independent Staff
It didn’t look like the Glenwood Grizzlies had problems converting power-play opportunities. At least, it felt that way to Aspen.
“That was one of our weaknesses,” said Glenwood coach Tim Cota of the team’s power-play woes. “Now, we’re starting to click on them.”
Glenwood scored two goals on power plays, then netted the game-winner of the 4-3 victory when the visitors were caught napping in the neutral zone late in the third period.
The win over Aspen, along with Tuesday morning’s 4-0 shutout victory against Oak Creek, raised Glenwood’s record to 10-7 on the year.
“This team doesn’t give up. We didn’t start to panic,” Cota said after seeing two earlier one-goal leads slip away. “There’s a lot of veterans on this team, and we showed a lot of composure.”
Cory Burling took advantage of a power-play advantage after an Aspen holding penalty late in the second period to regain the lead.
Burling worked his way within a few feet of Aspen’s goal, then redirected teammate Kevin Young’s shot past goalie Alex Owen to go up 2-1. After scoring the goal Glenwood missed scoring opportunities in the period’s last minute to pad their advantage.
That wound up costing the Grizzlies in the third period.
Aspen forced the action into the offensive zone and scored twice in just over two minutes.
Steve Boenning pushed a shot by Grizzlies netminder Brian KIng for the tying goal. A rare Glenwood defensive lapse allowed Wyatt Zetterholm to come in from center ice unguarded to take a 3-2 lead.
Then Aspen’s aggressiveness caught up with them.
Gaelen Means, who scored Aspen’s first goal, was called for cross-checking. Owen made a nice save on a Young-to-Shawn McKay give-and-go play from the left wing to maintain the lead.
But the Glenwood twosome weren’t finished.
Following up the initial play, Young snared the loose puck and found McKay for a score. With 6 minutes, 5 seconds left Hunter Darien broke free at the red line then zipped a pass over to Burling to seal the win.
“We had pressure the whole game. I just told them to stay focused and keep hamming at them,” Cota said of the comeback.
The scores ended a busy period for the Grizzlies who fired 16 of their 31 shots on goals in the period. On the other side of the ice, King finished with 12 saves.
In the Oak Creek game, Glenwood’s goalie stopped all 12 of Oak Creek’s shots on goal and had taken command by the six-minute mark of the second period when Trevor Kroeger scored to give the Grizzlies a 3-0 lead.
McKay, Matt Miller and Young also scored goals. Young, Darien, Burling, Collin Carrick and Rory Nankervis earned assists.
After a couple of days off for Christmas, Glenwood travels to Hyland Hills in Westminster for a junior varsity tournament on Dec. 28-29, then wraps up the road trip with a Dec. 30 game in Craig.
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.