After a quick skid, the Glenwood Springs Demons hockey team elevated their game to a new level and finished their season with a spot in the playoffs.
The Demons rolled to two easy wins, playing the Steamboat Sailors and the Coronado Cougars. Junior Max Mencimer returned to the team against Steamboat after missing 12 games due to a broken wrist in the first game of the season. The Demons beat the Sailors 6-2 led by Mencimer showing out for the home crowd and putting two past the keeper in his return. Mencimer is a leader on the team.
“It feels great to be back with all the boys, especially putting in a couple of goals, it feels great. I think it grew the team’s confidence, and we played great together last night and that was a big part in the win,” says Mencimer.
“We really have to come together as a team to end up in the playoffs and really focus on these next games we have; these next games coming up are the biggest games of our season, so we have to buckle down and get these wins”
The Demons then faced off against the Coronado Cougars and walked to a 10-0 win thanks to hat tricks from Senior Ryan Kotz and Junior Colter Strautman. Strautman is leading the league in goals and points with 27 goals and 47 points. Strautman is also second in the state for goals and third in points.
“The feeling is unmatched, to put in so much hard work all my life to this sport and finally start seeing some real success is a feeling close to none.”
The league-leading Summit Tigers traveled to town in a very important game. The Demons were hurt very badly by penalties, being short-handed for almost a full period. That hurt them in the end. Losing in overtime with less than a minute left in the game. Senior goalie Hunter Hadsock faced over 35 shots in the loss.
Last Friday, the Demons traveled to Colorado Springs to play the Liberty Lancers. The Demons attacked the Lancers from the drop of the puck, and when the final buzzer blew, the scoreboard read 13-0. Strautman put three in, in the win.
The next night, the Demons had their senior night against the Aspen Skiers. Saying goodbye to many key seniors. Nine seniors are moving on after the end of the season. Dylan Webster, Ryan Kotz, Sean Mooney, Kelton McPherson, Jacob Fowler, Hunter Lohse, Jaeson Brown, Cole Houston, and Hunter Hadsock.
“Since so many of us are leaving at the end of this playoff run, a bunch of the JV team is going to have to step up into our place,” Kelton McPherson said.
The Demons went up early with Senior Sean Mooney putting one in 3:16 into the game. But the Skiers came right back and knotted the game at once. The score stayed the same until early in the second period when Strautman was able to find the back of the net, then Kotz found it as well soon after. The Demons looked to set up for a win, but the Skiers came back and tied the game late in the third. The score was set for the rest of the playing time and when the buzzer buzzed to end overtime it was still tied at three.
The Demons finished the season at 5-3-2 in league play and 11-5-3 overall. This record placed them in the playoffs. The first round of the playoffs are going on right now, and the Demons play tomorrow at 1:30 in Eagle. Make sure to be there and show your support.