Miners have a little fun at region invite
The Park City High School hockey team, which had been looking for a little competition, found it on Monday night. Against the Hunter Wolverines, they lost a tight game, 2-1 at the Acord Arena in West Valley.
"I would rather see them lose against a really good team than win against a team that’s easy to beat," Park City head coach David Decker said after the game.
It was a bit of a progression of energy for both teams. The puck was dropped at a late 9:30 p.m., only upping the challenge for both teams playing on a school night.
It was a slow start for both teams who remained scoreless throughout the first period. But the Miners warmed up in the second period. Midway through the period, Greg Dubois was able to tip the puck into the net off of an assist by Walker Dunavent give them the 1-0 lead.
The Miners continued to play strong defense throughout the period, skating well against the tired-looking Wolverines.
Then, in the third period, both teams were wide awake. At the beginning of the period, on a penalty play, Hunter’s wily Chase Mecham slammed the puck into the center of the net off of a pass at his feet to tie up the score. After that, a flurry of Miners’ penalties gave an untimely advantage to the Wolverines. With 9:36 left in the game, Robert Repko was sent to the penalty box. Two minutes later, another Park City penalty left the Miners shorthanded again. At 6:12 Repko made yet another trip to penalty box after throwing the puck with his hand. One minute later, Mecham took advantage of the mismatch and shot high from the slot to put Hunter up 2-1.
With just a few minutes left in the game, it was Hunter’s turn to take a trip to penalty box, sending two players there in the last two minutes of the game. With only three Wolverine skaters on the ice, the Miners pulled their goalie off the ice and sent six players out to increase their scoring chances.
The move was well thought out and the Miners took numerous quality shots on goals.
"I though we had good momentum at the end," Decker said.
Unfortunately for the Miners, the Wolverines goalie, Jeremy Bee, who had held off Park City throughout the night, was able to stand his ground and make save after save until time expired. Bee finished the game with 18 saves.
"He played a tough game from the beginning," Decker said about Bee. "I give their goaltender high marks. He stopped shots he never even saw."
After the game, Decker was happy with his team’s intensity but disappointed in the emotional mistakes that sent his team to the penalty box.
"I was pleased with their effort," Decker said. "But you can’t play four-on-five and win."
He also wished he had seen the intensity of the second and third periods throughout the whole game.
"In any game, when you are down, it’s amazing how hard you play," Decker said. "I’m happy with how they played, but we need to execute better."
The Miners also played without key forwards Christoffer Dohrn, who has a separated shoulder, and Brandon Beebe, who has a broken clavicle. Although their absence has been difficult for the team, Decker said that it has allowed younger players to gain valuable varsity experience.
Despite the loss, Decker was happy that his team was able to play in such a competitive matchup.
"If you have an undefeated season, you’re in the wrong league," Decker said.
The timing of the will-testing game against Hunter game couldn’t have been better as the Miners host the league-leading East Leopards next on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. at the Park City Ice Arena. The Miners trail East by just two points in the overall league standings.
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