Park City hockey takes glimmer off Stars
January 18, 2014
Oh the humanity. Someone’s beating up the Stars in Park City. And just one day before Sundance! Call Mary Hart. Call Nancy Whatever Her Name Is. Call Billy Bush. Run a front-page story in Variety.
Wait, these weren’t those stars — no need to alert the paparazzi. These were the Salt Lake Stars independent hockey team, and they were just the latest victim of the juggernaut otherwise known as Park City High School Hockey. Wednesday night at the Park City Ice Arena, the Miners whipped the Stars 5-1 for the team’s 13th win of this unblemished season.
If you’ve been following PCHS Hockey this season, you know that a 5-1 game could qualify as a nail biter, but the outcome was never in doubt. The only thing that kept it close at all was Park City’s parade to the penalty box. On the night, Park City took 10 minor penalties, along with three 10-minute misconducts.
The real stars of the night were the Park City seniors. To celebrate Senior Night, the team’s massive class of 15 seniors was introduced with their parents in a ceremony before the game. The group has gone from worst to first in their tenure on the ice and are leaving the Park City program in far better shape than when they burst onto the scene four years ago. The seniors, alphabetically, are: Slater Benson, Robbie Derber, Harry Hanskat, Dakota Janes, David Jenkins, Cameron Kincaid, TJ Mayo, Brent O’Connell, Noah Pranschke, Ryan Shirey, Zach Slusher, Erik Stevning, Matias Tomczyk, Carson Walker, and Connor Zimmerman.
Park City Head Coach Aaron Dufford commented on his seniors. "It’s tough to imagine all of these seniors leaving," he said. "They have left a lasting legacy on this program and PCHS. They’ve put Park City on the high school hockey map."
It seems this penchant for dumb penalties could be the only thing that could derail Park City’s run to a state championship. When looking at the list of penalties from the game, all of the night’s penalties were taken by players putting their personal issues in front of the team’s goals — roughing, cross checking, head contact, checking from behind, high sticking, tripping, charging.
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Dufford wasn’t pleased. "There are no excuses for the penalties. They were selfish and uncalled for," he said and then added a few words for the wise. "The mental game is where we lost last year. It’s going to be mental whether we win or lose this year. It just depends on if we want to make the commitment to the team or not."
Just like last week, Wednesday’s game didn’t wait for late arrivals. The Miners scored just 17 seconds in on a wrist shot from Noah Pranschke, set up by TJ Mayo. Pranschke added a second goal midway through the period, assisted by junior Will Radovan. And then, with just six seconds left in the period, Carson Walker took a rebound off a shot by junior Derek Sederman and roofed it for a 3-0 end to the first period.
Park City’s penchant for penalties messed up the second period, but Sederman scored twice in the third on assists from Erik Stevning and sophomore Will Miele to end the scoring 5-1 Park City.
The Miners have only one game left in the regular season on Thursday, Jan. 30, against the Utah County North independent team at Peaks Ice Arena in Provo. Then, it’s on to the playoffs. Park City will host first and second round games on Wednesday, Feb. 5 and 12. So, plan on packing the house and getting the drive for a state championship off to a rousing start!