Junior Mavs win Colorado title

The Grand Valley Junior Mavericks 10-under team celebrates after winning the Colorado Amateur Hockey Association state title in Arvada. The Mavs don’t have a home rink after Glacier Ice Arena closed.

The fact they had no home ice arena never deterred the Grand Valley Junior Mavericks 10-under hockey team.

The squirt division (10-under) team proved it didn’t need an ice rink to win, capturing the Colorado Amateur Hockey Association state championship last weekend in Arvada.

“It was hard work and determination from the kids,” Mavs coach Tyler Bittner said. “We couldn’t spend a lot of time on technique and skill (without a home ice rink).”

The Mavericks’ accomplishment was recognized when they received their trophy. With the closure of Glacier Ice Arena, the Mavericks had to schedule dry-land practices at Canyon View Park and occasional practices on the weekend in Craig when they weren’t playing.

“When you look at it, our practice-to-game ratio was way out of whack,” Bittner said. “It should be 3 to 1, and it was more like 1 to 1. It is amazing to hit that level.”

The Mavericks (32-3-1) avenged their championship loss last year with a 4-2 victory Saturday over the Arapahoe Warriors in the semifinals.

Billet Porter had a hat trick in the win over Arapahoe. Zach Weiker scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and Porter sealed it with his third goal in the third period.

The Mavs defeated Aspen 7-1 in the final.

“The first 10 minutes of the game, Aspen played at our level,” Bittner said. “We opened it up in the second period. They couldn’t hang with us.”

Porter scored four goals to lead Grand Valley. Nico Devita, Zach Weiker and Brody Bittner each scored one goal.

Goalkeeper Carter Coulitier made 13 saves on 14 shots in the final.


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