The Glenwood Springs Demons varsity hockey team finished their season strong, winning five out of their past six games and ending their season with a 4-2 victory on their home ice.
After winning their past three games, two of which came at the hands of their rivals, the Aspen Skiers. The Demons looked to throw more wood on the fire underneath them against the Summit Tigers. The Demons had played the Tigers once before, which they won 5-2.
The Tigers came out of the cage strong, putting two past senior goalkeeper Daelan Renzi in the first period. Summit tacked on another one halfway through the second to go up by three. As the second period’s final seconds ticked off the clock, senior co-captain Colter Strautman finally got one back for the Demons, with the assist coming from senior Nolan McPherson. After the Zamboni lapped the ice, and the Demons retook the ice, it became the Robbie Weir show. A goal five minutes into the third by Wier with the assist coming from Strautman, the Demons pulled within one. The rest of the period was a battle until once again the final seconds of the period and in regulation were ticking down, as Weir scored ‘with zero seconds left’ to send the game to overtime.
Five minutes were added onto the board and the ref blew their whistle for the puck dropped. For four minutes and 12 seconds, the Demons and Tigers fought, until ultimately the Tigers managed to squeeze one past Renzi to win the game. The Demons doubled the Tiger’s shots in the game only to lose in a heartbreaking loss.
“It was pretty disappointing doubling their shots only to lose on a lucky bounce. But our team played a hell of a game and we came back the week following to beat them at their senior night which was a great feeling,” Weir said.
Speaking of the Demons beating the Tigers on their senior night, the Demons traveled to Breckenridge on the following Tuesday to face off against the Tigers once again. This time the Demons didn’t wait to go down a couple of goals to start scoring. Strautman and the gold line scored one minute and six seconds into the game, Strautmans first goal of the game with the assist from senior Max Mencimer. The Tigers tied it up shortly after and the game was knotted for most of the period until junior Ross Barlow scored. The assists coming from Strautman and Menciemer. The only scoring seen in the second period came from Summit to knot the game back up at twos. When the buzzer buzzed signaling the end of the second period, the Demons had 32 shots, and the Tigers had 14. The Demons had more than double the number of shots that the Tigers had. That thought was in the back of Strautmans mind when he scored his second goal of the game early into the third period. Weir and McPherson both getting an assist as the Demons go up 3-2 early in the third period. A lead that was held until two minutes left in the third, when the Tigers managed to put one past sophomore goalie Hunter Oger. Once again the two teams were headed to overtime. The Demons had a total of 43 shots at the end of the third to the Tigers 21. The Demons only needed one shot in overtime to win, one coming off Strautmans stick that is. Summit set the Demons up, by taking a careless penalty in overtime. The rest is history after that, Strautman and Mencimer dashed up the ice and the co-captain made the metaphorical fans throw their metaphorical hats to win the game in overtime. Strautman finished with his first hat trick of the season and put a damper on Summit’s senior night game with a victory on the road,
“It felt really nice to finally beat Summit, especially on their senior night. I have to thank my linemates though, they did all the work and I did the easy part,” Strautman said.
After that win, the Demons weren’t sure if they were going to play again. The Demons had a game scheduled against the Steamboat Sailors, that was scheduled for two weeks ago, but the Sailors had a COVID outbreak preventing that game. It was rescheduled for Saturday, March 13th, but the big snowstorm coming in looked like it would prevent Steamboat from getting here. The snow held though and the Sailors drove down here to play against the Demons. 10 seniors are moving on from Glenwood to bigger and better things. Colter Strautman, Connor Powell, Max Mencimer, Nolan McPherson, Robbie Weir, Traven Hammond, Ian Holm, Will Bingaman, Owen Mangeot, and Daelan Renzi are all graduating this year, from three different schools.
Mencimer is “probably going to play d2 puck” as he put it. Weir is going to the University of Miami Ohio and is studying Kinesiology. He plans on playing club once he gets there. McPherson has not decided where he is going to college yet, and plans to play club wherever he goes, the same goes for Bingaman. Strautman hasn’t decided where he is going to college either but plans to play either d2 or d3 when he gets there. Mangeot is attending Montana State University and “hopes to rip up some pond hockey up there.” Powell is attending CU Boulder and plans to play club lacrosse and hockey. Hammond is “most likely be attending DU to study political science and I intend on playing some sort of club hockey.”
Once the game actually started, the Sailors jumped out of the gate hot. They scored two goals in the first six minutes of the game. Strautman brought the Demons within one goal late in the first for his 15th and final goal of the season. He finished fourth in the state in goals and eleventh in the state in points.
“Again it feels really good, but I’ll say it time and time again, I couldn’t have done any of it without my teammates,” Strautman said.
In the second period, the Demons went up a player, as the Sailors took a hooking penalty. Glenwood took advantage of the man up and made the puck meet twine in the back of the net. The shot coming off of Mangeots stick with the assist coming from Barlow to tie the game at 2. Barlow got one of his own less than two and a half minutes later. The assist coming from Powell. The Demons scored four unanswered goals in the second period. The fourth one coming from Mencimer and the assist from Powell late in the second. That was all the scoring the game would see and the Demons took the last game of their season 4-2.
The Demon’s playoff hopes slipped away after a heartbreaking loss to their rivals the Aspen Skiers. Because of this loss, the Demons now have to look towards next season. A season where they are going to be missing their entire first line, all of which are graduating. They are losing 10 key seniors and will have to find a way to play as a team, without the glue that has been holding them together for years.
“We have to work hard during pre-season and have everyone at their best when game times come,” Barlow said.