Summit hockey falls at home to Glenwood Springs, 5-2
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to add quotes from the coach.
Four first-period goals led Glenwood Springs to a 5-2 victory over the Summit High School varsity hockey team (1-7) Thursday night at Stephen C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge.
The Demons improved their record to 3-4-1 on the season via four goals on 14 shots in the first period. Glenwood got on the scoreboard 3 minutes and 30 seconds into the first period on a Noal McPherson even-strength goal assisted by Colter Strautman. McPherson followed up just 49 seconds later with an unassisted even-strength goal before Demons teammate Ross Barlow scored a goal assisted by Strautman and Max Mencimer 10 minutes later. Then Glenwood once again made a quick follow-up tally, a second unassisted goal, this time from Traven Hammon.
“I thought we played a really good hockey game,” Tigers head coach JR Engelbert said Friday. “We had about a 4-5 minute period there in the first period where we just had some breakdowns in front of our own net trying to move the puck out of the zone, and unfortunately the mistakes happened in about the worst spots they could, and Glenwood was able to capitalize on a couple of them. Other than that, I thought we played a solid hockey game. The guys executed well, we maintained a lot of good pressure throughout the game.”
The Tigers clawed back in the second period with an 11-11 shot margin with two even-strength goals of their own. The first score came at the 13:49 mark of the period, as defenseman Zach Carleton found the back of the net assisted by fellow Summit senior Ranger Stone. Just a moment later, another defenseman-turned-forward, Cassius Bradford, scored an even-strength goal assisted by Hank Kasch and Caleb Mallory.
“We had to make a line change in the second period, and Cassius Bradford went up and played with Hank and Caleb, and him filling in on that line brought a different energy, and all of a sudden, the momentum kind of swung; it changed,” Engelbert said. “We were able to capitalize on opportunities. Unfortunately, the second period ended when we had that momentum, but we did a good job of sustaining pressure in the offensive zone.”
Engelbert credited freshman goaltender Finn Schroder for his play, describing it as his best of the season, helping the Tigers weather the storm in the second period and get some momentum going.
“He was positionally sound last night,” Engelbert said of the netminder. “He seemed extra focused and was working hard.”
Glenwood clamped down in the third period and didn’t relent another Summit goal, though the Tigers outshot the Demons 10-8. On the offensive end, the Demons finished with a 33-30 shots advantage on the night and scored a fifth and final goal at the 10:54 mark of the third period, when McPherson rounded out a hat-trick performance on a goal assisted by Strautman.
In net, the Tigers freshman Schroder played all 51 minutes and made 28 saves against 33 shots while Demons goaltender Daelen Renzi turned away 28 of 30 shots. The game did not feature a power-play goal as each team accrued only one 2-minute minor penalty.
With the loss, Summit remains at the bottom of the Colorado High School Activities Association 4A Mountain League standings, while Glenwood rose to third place of six teams. On the season, the Tigers are led in scoring by senior forward Ryley Cibula (four goals). Senior defenseman Carleton and junior forward Hank Kasch are tied for the team lead in assists, with four apiece. Carleton is the team’s leader in points with seven. The Tigers are next scheduled to play at 6:15 p.m. Saturday at home at Stephen C. West Ice Arena versus rival Battle Mountain, which is second in the 4A Western Slope League with a 6-1-1 record.
“I think the biggest thing is for us (Saturday) is to play 51 full minutes and minimize the mistakes and breakdowns, especially in our own defensive zone,” Engelbert said. “If we’re able to do that and sustain some offensive pressure, we’ll relieve the defensive end of the ice, and I think we can have success and hopefully defeat a team that has beat us twice this year.”
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