Ice Miners host alumni game, prepare for Viewmont
The Park City Ice Miners varsity team came out on top 4-2 at its Dec. 26 alumni game. The game, which pits former players against current ones, is becoming a tradition for the Ice Miners.
Darren Ehlers, a spokesman for the team, said the Ice Miners have had games in the past, but more than anything, the year-end holiday break is a convenient time for players past and present to get together.
“You get people home for the holidays,” he said.
That includes former players who had gone on to play for club teams in other states. One Ice Miner came back from South Dakota, Ehlers said. Another returned from Massachusetts.
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“It was great to have everyone back, and the kids got to skate with their friends who they hadn’t seen in a while,” Ehlers said.
The team hired referees for the full-length game, and though the tone is supposed to be relaxed, it can be tricky for players to rein in the urge to play hard.
“It’s supposed to be a friendly kind of game,” Ehlers said. “But it’s hockey.”
Now it’s back to the regular season, just in time for their biggest game before the state playoffs – a rematch against fellow powerhouse Viewmont on Wednesday in Park City.
The Ice Miners have had the game circled on their calendars since the start of the season, when they lost to Viewmont in a preseason away game 4-3. A subsequent shellacking of perennial contender Murray by the Ice Miners, 7-2, put Park City and Viewmont forward as the likely state championship contenders.
The rest of the season has only reinforced that idea, as the Ice Miners have held onto their second-place standing with a record of 9-2, and Viewmont leads the state 11-0.
“With how things are going within the state, it’s pretty clear it’s Viewmont, Park City,” Ehlers said. “They are on a collision course for the state championship.”
But they’ll see each other again this Wednesday, when the Ice Miners are scheduled to host the Vikings at the Park City Ice Arena at 6:30 p.m.
Ehlers said the Ice Miners are trying to organize a fan white out for the game, and encouraged fans to wear white.
“All the students come back to school that day, so we are looking forward to having a good turnout,” Ehlers said. “It should be a pretty evenly matched game.”
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It’s going to be at least another month before Summit County’s high school athletes have any chance of getting onto the field again.