GSHS Hockey Loses it’s Spark in Recent Games

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Jaymin Kanzer, Sports Editor

A strong start to the Glenwood Springs Demons varsity hockey team has lost its heat, as they went 1-4 over the past five games.

The Demons first scheduled game against the Steamboat Springs sailors was postponed due to a snowstorm, so they didn’t have any chance to “knock the rust off” as Senior co-captain Connor Powell would say. They were thrown into a big game against the biggest threat in their league, the Battle Mountain Huskies. After leading for most of the third, the Huskies tied the game at 2’s with only 20 seconds left in regulation. No one found the back of the net in the five-minute overtime and the game ended knotted at 2. Not the most ideal start to the season, but not too bad. 

The Demons then played the rescheduled game against the Sailors, making the two-hour trek to Steamboat for the first of three games over the next four days. Powell lit up the lamp first on a powerplay goal in the first period. Junior Cooper Lutkey got in on the action in the second, with a pass coming from freshman Jett Weatherred. The final goal came in the third when one of the top three points getters in the league last season, and co-captain Colter Strautman got the puck in front of the net and put rubber with twine. Goalkeeper Daelen Renzi didn’t let one past him in the win. Facing only 18 shots and turning them all away. 

“It felt really good to get that first win under our belt. With so many delays, cancellations, and other various obstructions, a win makes everything more tolerable.” Strautman said. 

The Demons returned to Glenwood riding high on that win, but also locking in on the most important game of the week, a rematch against the Huskies. 

Although the Demons have only had a high school hockey team for two years, the Demons have gone 3-1-1 against the Battle Mountain Huskies, but with the losses of important seniors from last year, and the Huskies team getting stronger, the rivalry has a completely different face this season. The Demons got on the board first, when a shot from the point, coming from senior Will Bingamon, was redirected by Weatherred and into the back of the net. That was the only scoring that the Demons would see though, and the Huskies was too much for sophomore goalie Hunter Oger. Battle Mountain put two past him and then tacked another one on in an empty net at the end of the game to win the game 3-1.

“They are one of the best teams [in the state] so we knew we had to play well. Unfortunately, we fell just short,” Strautman said

After the tough loss, the Demons returned to their home ice to face off against their number one rival. The Aspen Skiiers. Aspen got on the board first early in the first period. But Strautman had his own answer for that. He split the defense and put the puck into the back of the net to tie the game at 1. The game was knotted when the Zamboni took the ice for the first time. Once the ice was nice and smooth, the rivals took the ice again and had some fireworks. Aspen started the scoring off once again with an early goal. Again Strautman took the puck and found twine to knot the game back up at twos. A late goal by the Skiiers put Aspen ahead going into the third. No goals were found in the third, and Aspen took this one 3-2. 

“It was definitely a real heartbreaker, especially losing to a rival such as Aspen. We need to put our foot on the gas pedal all game, some moments in that game we let off and it gave them opportunities. We need to put together three periods of solid hockey to start winning those close games,” Strautman said.

After the heartbreaker, the Demons looked to reverse the script, by making the journey to Gunnison, to faceoff against Crested Butte.

“They are a very solid team, just like Vail. Maybe even better in some regards. It’s going to be a real test of our character,” Strautman said while evaluating the Crested Buttes team. 

There isn’t much to write about for these two games. The Demons fought hard, but couldn’t come out on top in either game. Strautman put 3 of the 4 goals in across both games. The first game was ruthless on young goalie Hunter Oger. He faced 45 shots and turned 40 of them away. After a goal in the first from the Crested Butte Titans, Strautman put one in during the second, and so did junior Ross Barlow. The Titans answered in the same period and scored 2 as well to lead 3-2 going into the third. Two more unanswered goals in the third put the Titans up 5-2 at the end of the game. The Demons returned the next day for revenge, but that’s not what they got. 59 shots on Demons goalie Renzi. He had to stand on his head to make some of those saves, and it kept the Demons in the game till the end. Strautman put one in in the second and one in in the third, but the Titans scored two in both the second and third to win 4-2. 

The Demons play Aspen at home once again on Wednesday the 24th. They then travel to Breckenridge to battle the Summit Tigers on Thursday, finally they play in Aspen on Saturday. You can catch all of these games on the Glenwood Demons hockey team Facebook page where they are all live-streamed.