Miners seniors discuss the singular charm of hockey’s big hits
Park City High School seniors Beau Pederson and Mark Colaizzi are candid about contact sports: they’re fans.
“I like more physical (games),” Pederson said. “Every time we get a chance to play Viewmont or other big teams, I just cant wait.”
Last Wednesday’s game against Viewmont gave the Miners, including Colaizzi and Pederson, an opportunity to embrace the physicality of the game. From start to finish, the game was a battle. And playing with half their usual bench also made it a requirement. That was just fine with Pederson and Colaizzi.
Pederson said he has always been a fan of contact sports; he grew up playing lacrosse and football. But hockey, he said, is on a different level.
“Hockey is so much faster,” he said. “The first time when you play check hockey and there’s a big open-ice hit, it’s kind of crazy. There’s nothing else like it. Even in football, there’s nothing like that big hit just because there’s so much speed.”
Colaizzi said the first time a player experiences an open-ice hit redefines the sport for him or her.
“The first time I played check hockey, I just got decked,” he said, recalling a Steamboat Springs tournament when he was 11 or 12. “I had snot coming out of my nose. That definitely woke me up and got me used to it.”
According to the seniors, two important parts about playing contact sports are not letting hits get in your head, and not hesitating when going into a hit.
Colaizzi had to overcome the first part of that equation during the game against Viewmont when an opposing player tried to flip him into the Vikings’ bench.
“Their whole bench is going ‘Colaizzi, Colaizzi,’ so yeah, that (made me mad) but what are you going to do?” he said. “We have half of our team.”
As for hesitating in hits, Colaizzi said “You just have to keep going, because if you’re scared, it’s just going to get worse.”
“You’re going to get destroyed,” he said.
Pederson chimed in “You gotta go head on, for sure.”
Colaizzi said the team had never played a squad as physical as Viewmont. He added that before last year, the Vikings didn’t realize the Miners were their rivals.
“The tone of the rivalry has been set to say the least,” said Josh Angevine, the Miners’ head coach. “The game got pretty physical. Some one-on-one individual battles happened throughout the game. It will be interesting to see that carry over into the next one.”
If the season goes to plan, Angevine said the Miners will play Viewmont in the playoffs.
No doubt, it will be hard-fought; just the way the Miners like it.
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