Ryder Rondeau

Glenwood hockey player Ryder Rondeau is checked off the puck in the 4A state championship game in Denver on Tuesday. Rondeau is one of a group of Aspen High players that competed for Glenwood this season.

Sometimes when you run into Goliath, he wins. Even if David maybe deserved to.

The Glenwood Springs hockey team’s dream season came up just one win short, falling to Cheyenne Mountain at Magness Arena on the University of Denver campus in Tuesday night's 4A state championship game. In the program’s fifth season, it took triple overtime for the defending state champions to thwart the newcomer, winning 1-0.

Glenwood controlled play through the first two periods but failed to convert that momentum on the scoreboard. They led 10-3 in shots after the first period and 7-2 in the second but entering the third period still had not beaten goalie Jeremy Renholm, leading to a 0-0 tie entering the third period despite the decisive shot advantage.

The Demons kept Cheyenne Mountain, 4A’s leading scoring team in the regular season, well in check in the defensive end, preventing them from setting up established zone time until late in the first period. They met the Hawks in the neutral zone and prevented the puck from getting in front of the net for strong scoring chances. Junior goaltender Marek Senn saw few quality chances.

On the flip side, Glenwood’s transition game generated them a few breakaways and they were able to get pucks deep. 

In the opening minutes of the third period, Senn was asked to make the first save before Glenwood stormed for three shot opportunities in quick succession, pulling Renholm out of his crease as a Hawk bailed him out with a block before he sprawled across the net for a clutch save, keeping the game scoreless.

Cheyenne Mountain flipped a switch in the third, taking three of the first four official shots on goal. Play evened out with both teams getting chances, including a breakaway for Cheyenne Mountain’s Wyatt Furda, drawing a penalty with under two minutes to play. Glenwood survived the 1:46 left on the clock and the few remaining in the first overtime.

In the extra periods, the Hawks continued to adapt to the Demons’ forechecking, continuing to draw opportunities. Finally, in triple overtime, it was Hank Walsh from Furda that beat Senn on the team’s 16th shot of the game. 

Cheyenne Mountain won the 2021 state championship, eliminating the Aspen High Skiers from the postseason in a decisive 8-1 win, the last game before Aspen merged with Glenwood. The Hawks entered the game after a 15-3-1 regular season, securing the most standings points in 4A with 31, one more than Glenwood and Colorado Academy. They beat Durango 5-0 in their opening round before beating up Steamboat Springs 7-1 in the semifinal.

Glenwood clinched the first seed in the playoffs on the backs of a 15-4 season, winning the Mountain division. They brought together athletes from at least six schools, spanning the Western Slope from Grand Junction to Aspen.