Young Grizzlies enduring growing pains
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. They may be young. They may still be learning and taking the bumps and bruises losses leave hockey players with, but the Glenwood Grizzlies are constantly improving.Despite falling in three games this weekend by a combined score of 19-3, Glenwood shows promise on the ice, laying a solid foundation to build on in the future.”We are a young team. We made a lot of young-team, early-season mistakes,” said Glenwood head coach Tim Cota. “We had a lot of giveaways and not being on our stick, but we’ll get it. It’s just not there yet. It’s going to take a lot of hard work to get there.”
After losing to Eagle-Vail 7-1 on Friday night, the Grizzlies hosted the Colorado Hockey Club from Colorado Springs in a doubleheader on Sunday. In each game, in each period, the Grizzlies improved.In game one, the Rampage jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 10 minutes. Jesse Cline put Glenwood on the board by tucking the puck between the pads of CHC goalie Colin Anonsen’s. It was the only goal of the game for Glenwood in the 5-1 loss, but not for lack of effort. Jimmy Carter had multiple chances on goal, but not many clean shots. The trend was same with his teammates as the Grizzlies totaled 14 shots on goal, while CHC had 27. Robert Benjamin made 20 saves in the game, and the defense blocked a handful of shots.
“We are not generating a lot of offense right now,” Cota said. “That’s something we have to work on. Three goals in three games isn’t going to cut it – no matter how well your goalies are playing.”Glenwood suffered from the same problems in game two’s 7-1 loss, only getting four shots on goal in the first two periods. One of those shots found the back of the net in the second period when Chris Abshire scored on a pass from Sterling Copeland during a 5-on-3 advantage.On the other side of the ice, the Rampage were keeping Glenwood goalkeeper Seth Carmitchel busy, bombarding him with 41 shots in the first two periods. Carmitchel made impressive save after impressive save, but five snuck through in the first two frames.
The Grizzlies showed their resilience in the third period, firing 12 shots on goal in the final period alone, outdoing the Rampage by one shot in the final frame. Glenwood got off four shots in the last two minutes during a 5-on-4 then 5-on-3 advantage, but Anonsen stopped them all. Although the Rampage outscored the Grizzlies 2-0 in the final period, it was the most evenly matched frame when it came to physicality, ability and shots on goal. It’s a step that Cota knows is in the right direction.”We gotta be patient, which can be frustrating for a young team. Lots of times they think they can just strap the skates on and go out and start winning hockey games without putting the effort into it,” Cota said. “They’ve got to understand they’ve got to work at it to earn that.”One goal the Grizzlies reached was cutting their penalties in half from Friday’s game to Sunday’s. Still adjusting to the new enforcement policy, Glenwood cut down its penalties from 14 on Friday, to seven in each of Sunday’s games – their fewest of the season.Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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