Subtle reminders: Glenwood looks to improve on last year’s prep hockey finish
Head coach: Tim Cota (16th season).
Last season: 16-9-3 overall, went 0-2 in double-elimination Midget League state tournament.
Key returners: Jake Fegan, Jr., GK; Skyler Stratton, Sr., GK; Sam Carmer, Sr., F; Cole Guy, Sr., D; Chance Mundorf, Sr., D; Chaz Apostolok, Sr., F.
Others to watch: Roger Gauthier, Sr., F; Joel Rothman, Soph., W; Trevor Carmichael, Soph., C.
GLENWOOD SPRINGS —Memories of their early exit from last season’s Colorado Midget A state tournament are burned into the memories of the Glenwood Springs Grizzlies high school hockey team.
That’s on purpose, too.
“I remind them about that every day,” said Grizzlies coach Tim Cota, who enters his 16th season of coaching the top team in the Glenwood Springs Youth Hockey Association. “I don’t want to let that go because I don’t want them to forget the way they felt after they lost the way they did last season.”
No doubt, Glenwood’s players have plenty of memories of the double-elimination tournament where they lost to eventual state champion Arapahoe before falling in the consolation bracket to Crested Butte. So with those memories, the Grizzlies have every intention of making sure that doesn’t happen this year as they begin the season against Cherry Creek at the Glenwood Springs Community Center Ice Rink. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:45 tonight.
“We’re all dedicated to the same goal this season,” senior forward Sam Carmer said. “All of us want to get past the first round, and we know that we have good enough players to go far if we do that.”
The Grizzlies had a great regular season last year, finishing 16-7-3 before they were quickly eliminated from the postseason. This year, the Grizzlies move to the Colorado Prep Hockey League (CPHL), which replaces Midget A hockey in Colorado. It’s separate from the Colorado High School Activities Association, the governing body of high school sports in the state.
The league includes Teir I-level teams from areas which don’t have one of the 32 CHSAA-sanctioned hockey teams attached to an area high school. Those areas which do have a CHSAA-sanctioned team have CPHL teams that play at the Teir-II level, giving an option to players other than their high school teams. Among the teams in Glenwood’s league include Cherry Creek, Boulder, Centaurus, Columbine and Crested Butte.
Cota expects that his squad will compete with its overall team speed. To accompany that, Cota credited his team’s overall discipline and puck control, noting those assets will fit his team’s personality better.
“We’re definitely not a bone-crushing team,” Cota said.
Glenwood boasts players on its roster who live in Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, New Castle and even Grand Junction. GSYHA director TK Kwiatkowski said Grand Junction area players are coming up to Glenwood to play thanks to the higher level of competition than what is offered at the Glacier Ice Arena.
This year’s roster includes two returning goalkeepers in junior Jake Fegan and senior Skyler Stratton. Senior forward Sam Carmer returns as the team’s leading scorer from last season, and senior defenseman Cole Guy is a player who Cota said “never makes mistakes.” Also expected to make a big impact is senior Chance Mundorf, who Cota said can make a big impact on both offense and defense.
“There’s a lot of talent on this team all the way around,” Guy said. “We have the ability to do a lot this year.”
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It may be by a technicality, but the Valley Valkyries 7s rugby club were the de facto champions of their hosted tournament Saturday.