Grizzly hockey tourney on tap
The fledgling Glenwood Springs Youth Hockey program takes another step forward this weekend when it hosts its first spring tournament.
The Grizzly Classic Tournament kicks off this afternoon with the Glenwood Springs Grizzlies bantam team playing itself in a split-squad game at 4:45 p.m. The Grizzly midget squad follows with a contest against Summit County at 8 p.m. at the Glenwood Springs Community Center ice rink.
“My biggest goal is to show that we have hockey here and we’d like to see some other people besides parents come out and watch,” said Tim Cota, the coach of the bantam and midget Glenwood teams and organizer of the tournament. “I want the community to see that it’s not only football, baseball, basketball and soccer, but hockey, too. I think they will enjoy it.”
Saturday’s action begins at 9:15 a.m. with a skills competition. The games begin with the Glenwood midgets facing Cheyenne at 2:15 p.m. The Grizzly Midgets have a second game on Saturday against Douglas at 7:15 p.m.
“I don’t really know much about (the other teams in the tournament), but, hopefully, they will be comparable to us as far as skill level,” Cota said. “I think it will be good competition for us.”
In just the second year of existence, the bantam and midget teams have made great strides this season. The bantams finished the season 8-12-7, good for fifth place in the Rocky Mountain Youth Hockey League.
The midgets struggled, in large part because it was just the first or second season for most of the players, but finished strong. The Grizzlies, who ended the season 2-24-1, lost in overtime to Craig, the RMYHL’s top team, in the final game of the regular season.
“We came a long way during the year,” Cota said. “In the last half of February and into March most of our games were very close and the kids stuck with it.”
Cota plans to make the tournament an annual event and, as the Glenwood hockey program grows, the tournament will likely grow with it.
“We just wanted to finish the season off with a little tournament and show that Glenwood is here and we do have hockey – get our name out there,” Cota said.
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