At the Vail Sportsmanship Tournament last weekend in Vail, the Glenwood Springs Grizzlies' Midget Major A team picked up right where it left off last season, rolling to the tournament championship in six games, going 5-1-0 while outscoring opponents 26-7 in Vail and winning the tournament with a bracket-high 10 points to edge out Vail.
In the tournament, standout forward Billet Porter led the way for the Grizzlies, recording 11 points (eight goals, three assist) in six games, while Sean Mooney netted four goals and goalie Hunter Hadsock recorded a .935 save percentage at the tournament.
"Our team discipline throughout the weekend was exceptional overall, we maintained our composure quite well," Glenwood head coach Tim Cota said. "At certain points we were over-handling the puck at each blue line but made some adjustments and corrected on the fly. As with any tourney, this was a test of endurance, adapting, depth and battling through some injuries. The coaches were proud of the boys for succeeding on all levels of those tests."
Opening up the tournament with a game against the Uintah Utes, Glenwood rolled to a 5-0 win, scoring four goals in the third period to pull away from the Utes for the win. Against Uintah, Porter netted a short-handed goal in the second period to give the Grizzlies a 1-0 lead after two periods of play before Mooney, Ryan Kotz, Keegan Winger and Mathew Thrun found the back of the net in the third period, while Tyson Trujillo, Colter Strauman and Thrun dished out assists for Glenwood.
The Grizzlies allowed just four shots on goal in the blowout win as Hadsock stopped all four.
In game two, the Grizzlies fell 4-2 to Hyland Hills as Porter and Devlin Powell found the back of the net for the Grizzlies in the loss, but that would be it for negative results on the weekend for the strong Grizzly group.
Glenwood bounced back for a 5-0 win in game three over the Arapahoe Midget Red team.
Against Arapahoe, Glenwood received goals from Jeason Brown, Porter, Thrun, Mooney and Kotz, while Hadsock stopped all five shots he faced in the win.
Moving on to game four on the weekend, Glenwood rolled to a 7-1 win over West Elk as Porter netted a hat trick. Strautman added two goals, while Kotz and Brody Bittner added one goal each in the lopsided win. Max Mencimer got on the stat sheet with an assist on Porter's first goal of the game, while Brown, Thrun and Bittner added one assist each in the win in front of netminder Daelen Renzi, who stopped seven of eight shots for the win.
Taking on Foothills Minor AA in game five, Glenwood picked up a 4-2 win thanks to two goals from Porter, one from Powell and one from Bittner as Erich Albrecht got on the stat sheet with an assist on Porter's first goal.
Against Foothills, Hadsock stopped 10 of 12 shots in the win, setting up a final showdown against Vail for the tournament title.
In the championship game, Glenwood rolled to a 3-0 win as the Grizzlies scored all three goals in the second period. Powell started the scoring before Mooney lit the lamp twice to cap off the scoring in the win.
Hadsock stopped all 10 shots he faced in the win to backstop Glenwood to the tournament championship, getting the 2017-18 season off to a great start for the Grizzlies' Midget Major A team.
"I was very impressed with how our team played this weekend. It's always hard to put together a group that has never played together and see so much success," team captain Travis Leahy said. "Playing six games in 48 hours is never easy, but everyone pulled together and played through it and we came out with the win.
"This weekend was a good indicator for where we are in the season, we just need to keep up the hard work and we'll be fine."