Grizzlies win four of five in midget hockey round robin |

Grizzlies win four of five in midget hockey round robin

Beating the defending state champions, and the defending Continental Divide youth hockey League Champion, the Glenwood Springs Midget hockey club skated to four wins and only one loss at a tournament in Littleton over the holiday weekend.”They played very well. They played the best hockey that they have played all year,” head coach Tim Cota said. But the wins came with a price. Four Grizzlies suffered major injuries that could have them sitting out for weeks or possibly through the rest of the season.Senior captain Tate Fairbanks tore ligaments in his abdomen and, depending on doctors’ rulings, could be out for four weeks or the rest of the season. Jimmy Carter took a hard hit, resulting in a separated shoulder that will most likely keep him out of action for the rest of the season. Assistant captain Trevor Kroeger re-injured torn ligaments in his ankle and Colby Burling took a knee to the thigh that left his leg swollen and “twice the size it should be,” Cota said.”Injuries just took a toll at the end (of the weekend). We just have to regroup and make some adjustments,” Cota said.In the five games of the tournament, the Grizzlies showed their determination and talent by playing through the injuries and getting wins. The Grizzlies started the weekend schedule by playing three games on Saturday.Glenwood got off on the right foot by edging CDYHL defending Champion Denver Country Club 4-3. Avenging two previous losses to DCC earlier in the season, Burling scored the Grizzlies” first three goals, putting Glenwood up 3-2 in the second period. Rory Nankervis then netted what turned out to be the game winner, which was assisted by Burling.Glenwood then took the ice with Providence in its second game. The Grizzlies took advantage of 15 Providence penalties and beat the Predators 4-1. Nakervis led the Grizzles scoring charge with two goals and Darien Hunter and Matt Miller each added another.The Grizzles really turned it on in their third game, scoring six goals in the first period and rolling to a 9-0 victory over Northern Colorado. Kroeger, playing through his ankle injury, and Miller each recorded hat tricks and goaltender Brian King stopped all 15 shots that game his way.On Sunday, Glenwood faced Littleton, the defending state champions, and once again came out on top, downing the Hawks 4-2. Glenwood had 31 shots on goal and held the Hawks to only 15. Kevin Young scored two goals, while Kroeger and Shawn McKay each chipped in one.Through the first four games, the Grizzles outscored their opponents 21-6. “We worked together, we recycled the puck, we had quick puck movement which is something we have struggled with,” Burling said. “Our offense was good – we just had it working.”Despite winning all four games in the round robin, due to a previously determined tournament schedule Glenwood did not receive a bye and ticket into the championship game. Instead, it had to play Providence again, but this time Glenwood didn’t get the same outcome. McKay scored two goals and King blocked 16 goals, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Predators, who went onto win 5-4. Even though the Grizzles had beat Providence earlier in the tournament, injuries and playing five games in three days finally caught up with them.”In the last game we were a little fatigued, a little tired and they took advantage of the few opportunities we gave them” Burling said. “It was a close game.”

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