It's not easy being a Bengal these days, what with poachers trying to kill you for your claws, hunters trying to bag you for your hide, and humans taking your land away right and left. And that's not including getting run over by a bunch of Miners.
Such was life for the Bengals of Brighton High School Wednesday night, Oct. 9, at the Cottonwood Ice Arena in Murray when the Park City High School hockey team rolled in and rolled over them in a 10-0 rout.
Park City again dominated possession time and shots on goal, outshooting Brighton 38-12. Through its three wins, the Miners have tripled the shots of their opponents 115 to 38.
But Park City also almost tripled the penalties of the Bengals, flagged with 10 on the night. The Miners have had difficulty adjusting to the new checking penalties being enforced this year by Utah High School Hockey referees. The goal is to limit concussions and overly-physical play. No longer can players continue a check after the puck has left the opposing player's stick. Before this season, players were allowed roughly one second of time to follow through on a check after the puck was gone. No longer.
Miners' Head Coach Aaron Dufford commented on the PC penalties. "I think all teams, individuals, coaches, and refs are adjusting to the rule changes," he said. "We have a strong, aggressive team. We're going to take our share of penalties while we're learning the new parameters.
Then Dufford, who played high-level junior hockey and was on the US National Team, added, "To be honest, I would have a tough time playing in today's game. This is a tough sport and intimidation has always been a part of it."
The Miners definitely intimidated the Bengals on the scoreboard. Relentless pressure on the puck led to turnovers and scoring opportunities. Defenseman Zac Polukoff set up wing Derek Sederman for a scoring wrist shot at 8:50 of the first. Forty seconds later, wing Noah Pranschke threw the puck back to Dakota Janes at the point for a slapshot that beat the Bengal goalie. From there, Park City never looked back. It was 4-0 after one, 7-0 after two, and ended 10-0. On the night, Janes and Sederman added second goals, along with two from Sam Amidon. The other four goals came from Polukoff, Nixon Barber, Will Radovan and Will Miele.
The Brighton game was the third of four "exhibitions" against teams from the Northern Division. The fourth will come Monday, Oct. 21, against the two-time defending state champion Judge Bulldogs at 6:45 p.m. down at the Salt Lake City Sports Complex. After that, Park City returns home for three games in November as the regular season gets underway.
To keep pace with what's going on with the team, head to Park City Miners High School Hockey on Facebook and "like" the page.