Puck to drop Oct. 30 for P.C. Pioneers | ParkRecord.com

Puck to drop Oct. 30 for P.C. Pioneers

Jen Watkins, Of the Record staff

The Park City Pioneers are gearing up for their inaugural season beginning Oct. 30 against Cache Valley at the Park City Ice Arena.

With a roster that includes 1998 NHL draft pick Jeremy Goetzinger from Canada, owners Aaron Dufford and David Imonti are confident the Pioneers will be the top team in Utah.

"Seven of our players have professional or minor hockey experience," Dufford said. "(The rest) have junior and college experience."

The team roster includes several experienced hockey players from Summit County: forward Michael Diersen from Kamas, defenseman Jeff Jacobs from Park City, goalie Eric Moldenhaur from Park City and Dufford, who will also play defense.

The team will begin practicing Oct. 12 and will practice once a week throughout the season.

Dufford said most of the players are as good as they will ever be skill-wise, but need the practice time to learn to work together as a team.

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"You’ve got five guys on the ice and they’re all doing different things," he said. "That doesn’t help the team."

He said many of the out-of-state teams, especially the Sun Valley Suns, are exceptionally good and are going to be tough competitors.

The Pioneers are the newest team to join the Intermountain Region USA hockey senior elite division, which includes Sun Valley and McCall, Idaho, Bozeman, Mont., Jackson Hole, Wyo., Salt Lake City, Ogden and Cache Valley. Dufford and Imonti, along with Mike Adamek, formed the team after Park City’s last hockey team, the Silver Kings, dissolved. Dufford, who played on the Silver Kings in 2007, said there was no one to manage the team and it eventually folded.

Imonti said he doesn’t expect that to happen with the Pioneers.

"We’re hoping to grow this into something that is a fixture in the community," he said.

To kick off the first game, Park City Mayor Dana Williams will drop the first puck. Dufford said a live band will play in the lobby during the two 15-minute intermissions and beer will be sold at concessions.

Imonti said all the games will be family-friendly and affordable. He said parking is free and ticket prices reasonably priced.

"I want it to be a big event, family event," Dufford said.

To view a full team roster, see page B-5.

For more information on the Park City Pioneers, visit http://www.pcpioneers.com.