For The Park Record
If you went to a gourmet restaurant like Chez Betty or the Riverhorse, you wouldn't expect to follow your three-course meal with a Ding Dong for dessert.
Similarly, the players and fans of the Park City High School hockey team weren't ready for the team's abrupt exit from the state high school hockey playoffs last week, with back-to-back losses on Wednesday and Thursday nights. The team had put together a phenomenal 12-1-1 regular season and had easily won its first two rounds in the playoffs. But then two out-of-character games against Judge and Northridge resulted in 3-2 and 2-1 losses that sent the Miners home to clean out their lockers and hang up their skates.
Despite the bad taste left by the losses, the future looks very bright for Park City High School hockey. This year's team will lose only two seniors, forward Casey Sederman and defenseman Bryant Lo Re. Sixteen juniors will return, along with six sophomores and four freshmen. Word is there will be nine incoming freshmen next season.
"We have a great foundation for continued long-term success," said PCHS Hockey trustee Scott Benson. "The Park City Ice Miner program continues to grow and should feed the high school team forever. Plus, having Aaron Dufford, the Utah 2012-13 Coach of the Year, as our coach gives us a real edge in developing our players."
Evidence of that development is the record of the Park City junior varsity. This season the Miner JV ended the season first in the Southern Division and had the most points of any of the state's 22 JV teams (there are no junior varsity playoffs).
Next up for PCHS Miner Hockey will be the Utah High School Summer League in Salt Lake County, where Park City will have two full teams competing. That league will begin play in May. Then in September the team will open practice for the start of another season of Utah high school hockey.
As a side note to the end of this season, Park City put nine players on the Utah High School Hockey Academic All-Star Team. They are Slater Benson, Robbie Derber, Harry Hanskat, Bryant Lo Re, TJ Mayo, Will Miele, Beau Milkis, Zac Polukoff and Casey Sederman.