Miner hockey moves to 6-0
Wednesday night at the Park City Ice Arena seemed like a return to the bad old days of the West in the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s when every wolf had a bounty on its head, and eradication was the plan.
But this night, the pack came from Utah County as the Park City High School hockey team slaughtered the UCI South Lone Wolves 11-0 to move to an unblemished 6-0 on the season.
It hasn’t always been this way for this group of Miners. Wednesday’s lineup had 13 seniors on the list of 19 rostered players. As freshmen, this group was the recipient of these kinds of beatings. Teams like Bingham and Uintah took advantage of the inexperience and lack of size on the Park City squad.
Well, it seems somebody ate their Count Chocula and drank their milk.
Now, Park City is a formidable opponent in every way. The Miners run three equally dynamic scoring lines, any of which can dominate on any given night. The Miners hit like a roller derby team, as Uintah found out last Friday night. And the Park City defense is huge, with two players measuring 6’3", along with one 6’1", and another at 6′.
Offensive zone puck possession and forechecking have proven to be the calling cards of this team — if Miner skaters aren’t holding the puck circling and looking for the open man they are attacking the opposing defensemen as they try and break out of their zone.
The pressure and possession result in shots on goal, this night lots of them. Park City has out-shot every opponent thus far, but Wednesday’s 50 shots versus 10 for UCI was crazy. Miner goalie Brent O’Connell had so little to do he could have been twerking and no one would have noticed.
The first period of Wednesday night’s game seemed innocuous enough. Junior wing Derek Sederman took a pass from defenseman Zac Polukoff, and streaked up the left boards before cutting toward the net, splitting the defensemen, and beating UCI goalie Nicholas Runolfson at 7:11 of the first.
Two minutes later it was senior Zach Slusher, whose scoring wrist shot from the slot was set up by junior Will Radovan behind the net. Score 2-0 Park City at the 5:23 mark.
Then, with just 28 seconds left in the period, senior Harry Hanskat passed across the goal mouth to open sophomore Sam Amidon, who scored to make it 3-0 at the end of one.
You could say this was about the time the Miners’ team speed started to break down the Wolves’ defense. You could say it was like Sarah Palin on her notorious Alaskan helicopter hunting trips. You could say the scorekeeper ran out of ink. However you say it, Park City scored seven times in the second. Goals came from Hanskat, TJ Mayo, and Radovan. Sederman added two more, and Slusher and Amidon went back for seconds like it was Thanksgiving dinner. The score was 10-0 through two periods.
In the third, sophomore Will Miele scored basically by accident, as Park City’s shooters were told to cease fire, and the game ended 11-0.
Wednesday night’s crowd was relatively sparse compared to Miner games from last season, but the team is hoping for a better turnout this coming Wednesday, Nov. 13, when Park City hosts the Copper Hills Grizzlies at the Park City Ice Arena at 6:30 p.m.
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Park City is the lone undefeated team in Region 10 play after a 60-30 win over Mountain View. The Miners have three more region games in their quest to repeat as region champions.