Five for the drive
Despite their 5-0 record, the Park City Miners hockey team is hungry. Monday night they crushed a short-staffed Olympus Titans team 7-1, but the win just left them wanting more.
"We play to the level of the team we play against," said the Miners’ Pearce Decker.
With strong teams like East, Brighton and Skyline still ahead on the schedule, they know that they will have to continue to improve and not rest on their wins early in the season.
"We didn’t play very well," Decker said. "We couldn’t get it together until the third period."
Park City took the early lead, with goals from Robert Repko and Walker Dunavent. Near the end of the period, the Titans answered back to keep it a close 2-1 game in the first period, but by the second period, it was all Miners.
At the 10-minute mark in the second, Brandon Beebe shot straight through the Titan defense into the goal to give the Miners a 3-1 lead. Dunavent got on the scoreboard once again during the waning moments of the period with a shot from the outside corner that went through Olympus’ goalkeeper’s legs.
Park City maintained the control in the third period, as a frustrated Titans team began to shut down. The Miners started out with a power play, after Olympus’ Michael James Harrelson punched Dunavent when he made a comment following his second-period goal. Park City capitalized on the mismatch, passing well and using their physical presence to dominate the game.
"Once we started passing, things clicked into place," Repko said.
With three seconds left in the game, Dunavent scored again after a shot deflected off the Olympus goalie and into the net. Wit time running out, the Titans began making more mistakes out of frustration that put both Tommy Hathcox-Poselli and Christopher Bullock in the penalty box. With only four Titans left on the ice, Decker scored with 1:42 left, followed by a last second goal by Austin Keller to give the Miners the convincing 7-1 win.
Although Park City captured the easy victory, Decker says the team needs to improve.
"We need to step it up," Decker said. "We need to play the body a lot more."
According to Park City head coach Dave Decker, the Miners strength is their aggressive. He says what they may lack in stick handling they can make up for in their ability to play hard as a team.
"People didn’t work well together earlier in the season," Pearce Decker said in agreement. "Now we are playing hard and together so we have a chance at winning the division."
With games against Uintah and Hunter coming up in the next few weeks, the Miners want to make sure they are prepared. Pearce said that focusing on five-on-five hockey, staying out of the box and making the most of power plays should help them stay competitive.
"We’re a hard-working team," Pearce said. "We’re skating hard to the puck."
The Miners will test their teamwork and aggressiveness when they face the Uintah Utes on Nov. 3 at 12:45 at the Park City Ice Arena.
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