Park City one goal short in postseason
In just three periods, the Park City Miners hockey team watched a season of hard work skate away.
On Monday night, the sixth seed in the northern division of the Utah High School Hockey Association lost a heart-wrenching 3-2 playoff game to Sky View at the Ogden Ice Sheet.
"We played our hearts out all game," said senior captain Ben Pearson.
The Miners played a very balanced game from the drop of the puck, which made the loss that much harder.
Sky View struck first with a goal in the first period, which was quickly answered by a score from the Miners’ Jordan Bird. In the second period, it was Park City’s Trevor Hammett who scored the first goal, followed by a matching score from Sky View.
Park City’s sophomore goalie Taylor Shores also managed to save a difficult penalty shot in the second to keep the score tied heading into the third period.
"It was epic," Pearson said.
Things started to break down for Park City in the third and final period. With just five minutes left in the game, Sky View came from around the back of the net and slipped a shot from the crease in between the legs of Shores for the tie-breaking goal. The Miners scrambled to answer back, but finally succumbed in the final seconds.
"I knew we were going to lose and I was looking for someone to fight with," said Pearson who was ejected for fighting with just five seconds left in the game.
His desperate actions echoed throughout the Miners team as they realized their season was over. For head coach Barry Graves the frustration stemmed from the opportunity that was lost. He told the team how proud he was of how they played and that they were the best team he had worked with in 10 years, making the loss that much more difficult. Even though the Miners made an early exit in the first round of the playoffs, they were able to overcome a fair amount of team injury and still earn a spot in the postseason.
The Miners finished the game with 25 shots on goal and Shores had 25 saves for the game.
The Miners have some rebuilding to do before they return to playoff ice again. They will lose 12 seniors to graduation, so a new home ice rink and the incoming underclassmen will have to play a significant role in helping the Miners maintain their current status as one of the better teams in the league.
But for Pearson and the other seniors it was just sad to see the season end so soon.
"I’m just really stoked for my four years of hockey," Pearson said. "I played with some great players."
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