Miners do Broad Street Bullies imitation
Although the uniform colors were all wrong, if you were watching Wednesday night’s Park City High School hockey game against Copper Hills, you might have thought you were back in the Spectrum in Philadelphia circa 1975. The Miners did their best imitation of the Broad Street Bullies of that era, dominating the Grizzles, but earning numerous cheap penalties en route to a 5-0 win.
In the game’s final two periods, Park City players earned 37 minutes of penalties, including two game misconducts and one game major penalty.
All that was missing was Dave Shultz and Bobby Clarke.
"I wasn’t happy with the penalties at all," said Miner Head Coach Aaron Dufford. "At this level you can’t get caught up in the extracurricular stuff. The only thing that matters is the scoreboard and who comes out on top."
And it wasn’t as if this was Vernal, where the rink is small and the Utes are perpetually angry. Park City dominated Copper Hills in the penalty-free opening period, cycling the puck expertly and barely allowing the Grizzlies out of their own zone. Will Radovan’s wrist shot from the slot (set up by Eric Stevning) was the period’s only goal but the teams weren’t evenly matched.
In the second, Radovan added a second, this time set up by linemate Nixon Barber. Score: Park City 2-0 with 7:02 left in the period.
Word on the bench was there was some active stickplay from the Grizzlies. But when Derek Sederman cross-checked a Copper Hills player from behind sending him head first into the end boards, things got out of hand. Sederman received a penalty, plus a misconduct for checking from behind. Park City added two more minor penalties through the remainder of the period.
Then 19 seconds into the third, Park City defenseman Sam Groves escalated a minor scrum in the Miner net area by throwing numerous punches. He received a five-minute misconduct for fighting and a game major, sending him to the locker room and onto an automatic three-game suspension.
At a point in all of this, between those serving minors and misconducts, there were five Miners in the penalty box. Weak.
"We got caught up and it hurt us," Dufford commented. "Groves is out for three games. A real tough guy in this league laughs and skates away."
On the night, the other three goals came from Sam Amidon, Will Miele, and TJ Mayo, ending in a 5-0 shutout win. Park City had 35 shots on net to 15 for Copper Hills.
Watching this team, you have to wonder if they have selective amnesia. Last season, Park City was the best team in the state and dominated the defending state champion Judge Bulldogs in the first period of their state semifinal game. But then came a second period of endless dumb penalties, putting the team on the penalty kill virtually the entire period, and killing the momentum gained in the first period. When Judge’s Nick O’Cain scored off two defensive lapses in the game, Park City’s dominant season was over.
Park City is again the best team in the state this season. But, if they play like they did Wednesday against Copper Hills and continue the season’s trend of certain players taking bad penalties every game, they’ll be headed to another early exit from this year’s state playoffs.
The next game for the Miners is Wednesday, Nov. 20, at the County Ice Arena in Murray against the Herriman Mustangs. Game time is 7:30 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.