You want goals? You got goals |

You want goals? You got goals

David Hampshire

According to hockey historians, the highest-scoring game in National Hockey League (NHL) history involved 21 total goals.

Last Friday night, the Park City Pioneers and the Ogden Sabres combined for 23 goals as the Pioneers shelled the visitors 15-8 in a fast-paced, freewheeling game at the Park City Ice Arena.

The Pioneers jumped on the visitors from "O Town" early, scoring six goals in the first 10 minutes and 10 by the end of the first (20-minute) period. When the Sabres headed for the dressing room for the first intermission, they were looking at a 10-0 deficit.

The Sabres managed to pick up their game in the final two periods, outscoring the Pioneers 8-5. But it wasn’t enough to stop the Pioneers from improving their record to 9-8.

Leading the Pioneers’ scoring parade was Adam Kostichka with 6 points. Solomon McCann chipped in with 5. "I think everyone on the team got at least one point," said David Imonti, the Pioneers’ playing general manager. "We tried to mix things up to give everyone a chance to show what they could do."

OK, so this isn’t the NHL. But if your idea of a good game is lots of scoring, you came to the right place.

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If, on the other hand, you came for the fisticuffs, you would have gone home disappointed. Although the game featured a number of hard hits, there were no fights and the referees called only one two-minute penalty.

Imonti sounded almost apologetic. The game, he said, wasn’t as "gritty" as he would have liked.

"You don’t want to add insult to injury," he said. "You don’t want to beat them on the scoreboard and beat them physically too bad."

Contributing to the Sabres’ demise, he said, was their decision to start the game with an untested goalie. "I think they were giving him a courtesy start," he said. "I think they thought he was going to be more competitive." the time that goalie was replaced at the end of the second period, he had given up 13 goals on only 15 shots, Imonti said.

He gave credit to the Sabres for continuing to push the pace in the final two periods. "Despite what the score is, they never stop giving and taking hits," he said. "And I think they got a bit more confident when they switched goalies, too."

This Friday, the Utah Dawgs will visit the Park City Ice Arena for a 7:45 p.m. game. It’s the Pioneers’ last game against an in-state opponent at home this season. To date, the Pioneers and the Dawgs have played four games. Each team has two wins on its home ice.

"On paper we’re definitely better. But they’re one team that’s had our number," Imonti said.

"They definitely don’t back down. They don’t want to lose to us, and we don’t want to lose to them," he said. "We haven’t lost to an in-state team at home this season, and we don’t want to start now."

If that didn’t pique your interest, this might: The Pioneers are offering a special for Friday’s game two adult tickets and four domestic beers for 20 bucks.

Try finding that in the NHL.