Grizzly Hockey’s 18U Midget team wins Aspen Fall Face-off Championship
Competing at the Aspen Fall Face-off tournament Friday through Sunday in Aspen, the Glenwood Grizzlies’ 18U Midget team rolled to the tournament championship, going undefeated while outscoring opponents by a mark of 26-4 in the five-game tournament.
The Grizzlies’ 18U Midget team, which is made up of mostly Glenwood Springs Demons varsity hockey players, cruised through the tournament after a shaky first two games. The dominance in the final three games could be a sign of things to come this winter.
“It was great to see these young men come together as a team, buy into our system, and play disciplined hockey,” Grizzlies director T.K. Kwiatkowski said.” We could not be any more proud of the efforts of all the Grizzly players. This tournament championship will help set the tone for the Glenwood Demons high school varsity hockey season.”
Opening up the tournament on Friday, the Grizzlies faced off with the Summit Tigers. Summit struck first at the 3:27 mark of the first period, but Glenwood scored three straight goals as Ryan Kotz scored in the first period, Sean Mooney scored in the second, and Kotz found the twine in the third period, pushing the Grizzlies to a 3-1 lead. Summit added a late goal, but the Grizzlies picked up an important 3-2 win as Daelen Renzi stopped 16 of 18 shots in net.
In the second game of the tournament, the Grizzlies battled the New Mexico Ice Wolves and rolled to a 4-2 win.
New Mexico scored first at the 7:45 mark of the first period, but Glenwood scored three straight goals again to make it 3-1 as Kotz tied it at 1-1 before Mooney scored two straight to make it 3-1. New Mexico then scored to make it a 3-2 game, but Mooney capped off the hat trick to give Glenwood the 4-2 win.
In net, Hunter Hadsock stopped 10 of 12 shots for the win.
In game three, the Grizzlies really took off, pummeling Arapahoe 9-0, before topping Arvada 6-0 to reach the championship game on Sunday.
Taking on Aspen in the championship game, Glenwood cruised to a 4-0 win as Kotz scored two goals, while Traven Hammond and Cole Houston tallied one goal each. In net, Renzi stopped all 12 shots he faced, helping Glenwood claim the championship.
“We were very consistent throughout the weekend,” Glenwood head coach Tim Cota said. “There was only one period the coaches weren’t happy about, otherwise it was a strong, consistent performance. We were more balanced this weekend, goals off fore checks, goals off rushes, goals off power plays, very well done with production from all facets of the game. We played with heart and confidence throughout the weekend and got stronger as the weekend progressed, and were very sound defensively and between the pipes. We never panicked when we had some bad shifts or gave up goals, that was nice to see.”
Throughout the five-game tournament, Kotz and Mooney led the Grizzlies with six goals each, while Houston found the back of the net five times. Colter Strautman led the Grizzlies with 11 total points (two goals, nine assists), while Mooney and Kotz added 8 points each. In goal, Renzi went 3-0, stopping 34-of-36 shots, while Hadsock went 2-0, stopping 19-of-21 shots.
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