Summit stings Glenwood boys hockey team with 4-3 loss in OT to take Peak League title

A Summit Tiger works to get the puck past the defending Glenwood Springs Demons during Tuesday night's 4-3 home loss for Glenwood in Peak League action. Summit takes the conference title with the win.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

It was down to the final minute of play again between the Glenwood Springs and Summit boys hockey teams Tuesday night, but this one went to overtime before the Tigers managed to come away with the 4-3 win and take the Peak League championship.

Tied 3-3 with 53 seconds in the extra 5-minute period at the Glenwood Community Center ice rink, Summit’s Ryley Cibula found the net to shut down the Demons’ hopes of claiming a conference title in just their second season of varsity play.

The Demons were at a 5-on-4 disadvantage for 2 of those extra minutes, when junior defenseman Max Mencimer got called for a penalty at the 3:22 mark and was sent to the box, leaving the Demons short-handed in the attempt to pull off the win and keep their conference title hopes alive.

“Basically, a tie still wins the conference for them, so we couldn’t afford a tie,” Glenwood coach Tim Cota said after the heart-breaker. “We had to get a little aggressive there towards the end to try to get the win, but it didn’t work out in our favor. So the loss is still a tie to us.”

The last time the two teams met, on Dec. 21 at Summit, the Tigers emerged the 3-2 victors on a goal in the final second of regulation to gain the early advantage in the league standings.

In the rematch Tuesday, Glenwood drew first blood just 3:14 into the first period when senior Ryan Kotz connected with Colter Strautman for a short-handed goal. But Summit’s Issac Eland was quick to answer only 45 seconds later to make it 1-1. Strautman again found the net in the final 30 seconds of the opening period to give the Demons the 2-1 advantage.

The opening minutes of the second belonged to Summit’s Max Bonnenberger, who scored an even-strength goal 2:38 into the period to tie it up, then gave the Tigers the 3-2 lead not 2 minutes later on a break-away goal.

Glenwood senior Dylan Webster knotted it back up to close out the period, scoring an unassisted goal with 3:26 to play.

The third period started off rocky for the host Demons when Mencimer was called for a major penalty and was sent to the box for 5 minutes. A few minutes later, senior Cole Houston was also sent to the penalty box, leaving Glenwood in a 3-on-5 situation.

Limited in the number of potential scoring sticks, Glenwood at least survived the Tigers’ power-play opportunity, thanks to some pre-game homework.

“We kind of knew what they were trying to accomplish on their power plays, so we worked in practice on how to kill it off,” Cota said. “Still, we were hoping not to give them that many opportunities.”

The Demons now look to close out the season on a positive note with a road trip to play Liberty on Friday, and a final conference game Saturday against Aspen on the Glenwood ice.

“This one’s a stinger, of course, but we’ve just got to keep moving forward for the playoffs,” Cota said. “It’s a loss, but it’s a hard-fought loss. The conference is out of reach for us now, but the playoffs are ahead of us, so we’ve just got to look ahead.”

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