Battle Mountain hockey falls to Demons in OT
EAGLE — It’s now a rivalry.
Battle Mountain hockey traditionally views Summit County, Aspen and Steamboat Springs as its rivals on the ice, but, after Saturday, add Glenwood Springs to the list.
The Demons’ Colter Strautman scored with 1:55 left in overtime to lift CHSAA hockey newcomer Glenwood to 4-3 triumph over Battle Mountain at the Eagle Pool & Ice Rink.
“We really needed this win,” Strautman said. “(Battle Mountain) definitely had the momentum, but I definitely have to give that to my teammate Ryan Kotz. He gave me a nice little pass down in their zone and I just put it five-hole and got it done.”
Glenwood Springs (4-6 overall and 2-3 in the Peak Conference) was coming off a 5-0 loss at Aspen on Friday night, and after surrendering a 3-0 lead to the Huskies, the Demons had to have a sinking feeling on Saturday.
“In the past, when we’ve allowed that to happen, we haven’t been able to build on that and get our second wind,” Demons coach Tim Cota said. “Today, we maintained our composure and were able to come out on top. Hopefully, we can learn from it.”
And while the Huskies (3-2-2, 2-1) did have a long layoff since beating Summit on Dec. 17, Saturday was not one of their best efforts.
“Early, I would say we displayed some rust,” Battle Mountain coach Derek Byron said. “But we just showed up and didn’t skate. When you do that for three periods, it’s hard to win a hockey game.”
Power play or not
Battle Mountain struggled woefully on the power play. Not only did the Huskies go 2-for-10 on Saturday, but they gave up a short-handed goal during the first period to Kotz for a 1-0 Glenwood lead.
To make matters worse for the home side, just after the Huskies Parker Nash clanked a shot off the crossbar during the second period, the Demons made it 2-0 when Jacob Hemard fed Dylan Webster.
The Demons appeared to be taking over late in the middle stanza as Strautman’s first boosted the lead to 3-0. However, the Huskies scored with just 1-tenth of a second left in the period as Garrett Flaagan jumped on the rebound of a Nash shot to send Battle Mountain into the intermission with some hope.
The Huskies picked it up in the third period with some help from Glenwood. The Demons had an own goal, and the Huskies’ Harry Green was doubtless happy to get credit for it.
Glenwood also took three successive penalties, which gave Battle Mountain a lot of 5-on-3 time. Nash struck with 9:25 left in regulation to tie it at three.
The Demons had a golden opportunity with a two-minute 5-on-3 power play of their at the end of regulation and into overtime, but couldn’t strike.
For Glenwood, this was big one.
“We really needed that win,” Cota said. “We’ve had a couple of losses that have taken their toll on us, so it’s morale booster. The kids played well. The kids played hard.”
The Demons head to Standley Lake on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Huskies, who had a very solid December, have to regroup, before heading to Steamboat on Friday.
“We have to play together,” Byron said. “We need to move the puck better, move our feet. Hopefully, it’s a nice wakeup call.”
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.