Pioneers defeat Trappers in first game of the season |

Pioneers defeat Trappers in first game of the season

Jen Watkins, Of the Record staff

The Park City Pioneers defeated the Cache Valley Trappers 8-3 during a physical game at the Park City Ice Arena on Oct. 30.

"We were excited," said Aaron Dufford, Pioneers manager and defenseman. "I thought with the limited amount of promoting and advertising, there was a great turnout. I think the fans who showed up were very pleased with what they saw. The hockey part is the easy part for us. Promoting and making it something that the town really looks forward to is the difficult part."

Dufford said in the first period the Trappers dictated the game while the Pioneers tried to overcome their first-game jitters.

"We’re a good hockey team and we know how to play," he said. "There were almost 300 people there and it was our first game. Initially that gets into you. Some of the outside things get in your mind and disrupt what you’re trying to do."

The Pioneers were able to score in the first period and Dufford said they went into intermission pretty happy with how they were playing. During intermission, the Ice Miners 7-8 year olds played an exhibition match and a live band, Monkey Robot Wars, played in the lobby.

Dufford said in the second period, the Pioneers relaxed and let the Trappers score twice.

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"(The Trappers) gained a little life by scoring," he said. "We wanted to tighten it up. We were getting a little lax."

There was a fight in the second period between Pioneers’ defenseman Jan Prusa and one of the Trappers.

"There was a guy on the other team picking on one of our players, usually one of our better players," Dufford said. "We had a lead and they were getting a little frustrated."

Parkite Kinsley Johnson did an acrobatic performance during the second intermission on a curtain suspended above the ice.

In the third period, Pioneer forward Tom Gatta got "cheap shotted," Dufford said, and another fight ensued.

"Tom didn’t take it too kindly," he said. "The crowd got excited. I didn’t want to see too many fights. I don’t want kids to get the idea that’s what hockey is all about but I understand why people do it, not that it happens all the time."

The Pioneers will pay the Utah Dawgs from Kearns on Nov. 13 at the Park City Ice Arena at 7:45 p.m.

"I don’t know much about them," Dufford said. "In Utah, I think we expect to be the best team but you never know. Hockey’s a funny game sometimes. You can be surprised."