Miners hockey battles to tough win
Tuesday night’s game at the Salt Lake Sports Complex started out poorly for the Park City High School hockey team. Penalties plagued the Miners early on, allowing Sky View to jump out to a quick 2-0 lead.
As time was winding down in the opening period, things were starting to look bleak for the Miners, who couldn’t keep a full squad on the ice for any length of time.
"The big thing was the penalties in the first period," senior Derek Sederman said. "We spent about half the period in the box with like nine penalty minutes. Their goals were both on power plays and that’s what killed us, I think."
Things changed late in the period, though, thanks to Sederman. With the Miners short-handed because of yet another penalty, Sederman skated through the Sky View defense and put a shot past the goalie with 1:28 remaining to cut the lead to 2-1 heading into the second period.
"That was huge," defenseman Sam Groves said. "That’s where we got all our momentum. The other team just shut down after we got that goal. We just kept rolling from there. We still had a few lapses, but overall, we just kept going."
The Miners did indeed go on a hot streak after Sederman’s goal. In the second period, Park City played some of its best hockey of the season and outscored Sky View 4-0, eventually winning the game by a score of 7-3.
Sederman said trailing after one period ignited a fire in the Miners, who are determined to win an elusive state title this year.
"We were kind of [angry] at the fact that we were losing to a team we should have been up on," he said. "We managed to stay out of the box and goals started going in."
Sederman finished the game with a hat trick, while Will Miele, Daniel Hebert, Aidan Shaw and Sam Amidon each scored one goal.
Though it ended up being a very physical game, Groves said the Miners need to be smart with their physicality so it doesn’t end up hurting the team.
"We just have to stay disciplined," he said. "It’s all a matter of us playing smart and not wanting to cost our team a goal. Ishan [Chho]’s a strong goalie, but it would be nice to help him out every once in a while."
Chho made 13 saves on 16 shots faced, but every goal he allowed was on a Sky View power play. Though Sederman doesn’t necessarily enjoy the physical play, preferring instead to use his speed and finesse to score goals, he knows it’s something his teammates enjoy. However, he added, it’s important to find a balance between physicality and discipline.
"It’s not my style of play, but I know [Will] Radovan and Groves love that stuff," he said. "It makes it more interesting as long as we stay out of the box."
Though two of Sederman’s three goals on Tuesday night were unassisted, he was quick to credit his teammates for making crisp passes all night long.
"I had a lot of help," he said. "Nixon [Barber]’s pass on my third goal was all Nixon — I just kind of tapped it in."
In addition to Barber’s assist, Miele tallied two assists and Hebert, Clay Groves and Dylan Williams each added one. That style of play, with teammates sharing the puck with one another, is something Sam Groves would like to see more of moving forward.
"We just have to find a way to work as a team more," he said. "We’re still kind of in the individual area, myself included. We just have to keep passing more and making more high-quality shots."
And, as the Miners prepare for Wednesday’s game against defending champion Viewmont, Sederman said a better first period will be crucial to Park City’s success.
"I think we just need to focus more before the games and be ready to go out there," he said. "We just need to come out stronger and stay out of the box."
Park City and Viewmont will square off on Feb. 18 at the Salt Lake Sports Complex. The puck is scheduled to drop at 9:15 p.m.
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