Strong final period boosts Miners hockey | ParkRecord.com

Strong final period boosts Miners hockey

For the first time all season, an opponent actually managed to worry the Park City High School hockey team a little bit.

The Miners, who came into the game with a perfect 8-0 record, trailed for much of the first period Wednesday night at the Park City Ice Arena after an early goal by Copper Hills. Playing from behind was a new experience for Park City — the Miners hadn’t trailed for even a second all year.

Eventually, they righted the ship, scoring their first goal with 4 minutes, 33 seconds remaining in the first period and unleashing an offensive barrage that would see them take a 4-1 lead into the second period.

But the uneasiness wasn’t done. By the end of the second period, the Miners only held a 7-3 lead — a close game by their standards.

When the third period started, though, Park City was firing on all cylinders. The Miners outscored Copper Hills 4-0 in the final frame to pick up an 11-3 win and move to 9-0 on the season.

Sophomore defenseman Taylor Mellon, who scored two goals in the game, said he thought the Miners wore down their opponents as the game went on, leading to the dominant third period.

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"It was honestly pretty nerve-racking," he said. "When they scored that first one, everyone was pretty shocked. After that, we started putting more and more goals in consistently. Then, in the third, I think they got tired and we just buried them."

Junior forward Will Miele, who led Park City with four goals, said it was nice to get back on track in the final period.

"It felt really good," he said. "That’s one of the best teams we’re going to be facing and we’ll probably see them again in the playoffs. To come out and make a statement like that right now felt really good."

Senior Derek Sederman scored his state-leading 20th goal of the season in the victory. Senior Will Radovan scored his 16th goal of the year and added an assist. Senior Sam Groves and sophomores Clay Groves and Aidan Shaw each added a goal as well. Junior Sam Amidon had three assists, sophomore Nick Butterworth had two and senior Nixon Barber, sophomore Skylar Marsh and freshman Beau Pederson each added one assist.

Miele said it was nice to get back to playing varsity-level games after a long winter break.

"Winter break took a lot out of me," he said. "But we still pulled through and got a win. We played a good game. We could have done better, but for the most part, we played well as a team."

Barber said the toughest part about getting back on the ice after so long was regaining the comfort level he previously had with his teammates.

"Everyone was on the ice [for different teams] for the most part during winter break," he said. "It’s just you lose that communication with certain people."

But, he added, as the game got more physical, the Miners did a good job of not taking stupid penalties.

"It’s rough and it’s chippy, but these guys held through and stayed out of the crap and played good, strong hockey," he said. "We did what we’re supposed to do."

With only two games remaining before playoffs begin, Miele said the team needs to get its chemistry back to reach its full potential. Though there were some moments of outstanding individual play on Wednesday, he said that might not work as well against the state’s other top teams.

"We’re going to be facing better teams, and skating through everyone isn’t going to work as much," he said. "We’re going to need to know our linemates better and play better as a squad."

Park City’s final regular-season home game will take place at the Park City Ice Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 14. The Miners will face off against Hunter Independent at 6:30 p.m.

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