Glenwood Springs hockey earns No. 1 seed for state playoffs despite late loss |

Glenwood Springs hockey earns No. 1 seed for state playoffs despite late loss

Glenwood Springs hockey players await their next shift against Liberty earlier this season.
Ray K. Erku/Glenwood Springs Post Independent

A 4-3 loss at Summit on Friday to close out the regular season didn’t dampen the Glenwood Springs High School hockey team’s ranking going into the Class 4A state playoffs.

Tournament brackets announced Monday morning gave the Demons the top seed among the 10 teams to make the playoffs. They earned a first-round bye and are to face the winner of Thursday’s matchup between No. 8 Battle Mountain and No. 9 Liberty at a time to be determined on Feb. 28 or March 1, on home ice at the Glenwood Springs Community Center.

Glenwood closed out the regular season at 15-4 overall and 8-2 in the 4A Mountain League after going 4-2 down the stretch but losing the finale to the Tigers of Summit on Friday night.

Down 3-0, the Demons got one goal late in the second period and two in the third, off the sticks of juniors Jacob Barlow and Jase Joslin, and sophomore Brayden Dacuma. But they couldn’t overcome the edge established by Summit in the opening period.

“Summit played well and hopefully that will send a message to the boys that anyone in the top 10 has the ability to win on any given night,” Glenwood coach Tim Cota said in a Monday email.

Cota said the team was also playing through some illness, and still was able to make it a game.

“It you have the heart and fight, I’ll take those two attributes rolling into the playoffs,” he said.

Dacuma, along with fellow sophomore Chase Pennell and junior Ian Cole, were good for the assists on the Demon goals. Senior goalie Jeremiah Swenson had 18 saves on the night.

The loss came on the heels of a pair of impressive wins over Colorado Academy and Crested Butte during the prior week, which helped to maintain Glenwood’s state ranking heading into the postseason.

Besides Glenwood Springs as the winner of the 4A Mountain League and the top seed, five league teams are represented in this year’s playoffs: Steamboat Springs at No. 2, Crested Butte at No. 5, Durango at No. 6, Battle Mountain at No. 8, and Summit at No. 10.

Aspen did not field a team this season, but does have a handful of players competing for Glenwood Springs.