Park City Ice Miners fall to Viewmont 2-1
The first thing Park City Ice Miners coach Josh Angevine wanted to do after a 2-1 loss to Viewmont on Wednesday was to thank the fans.
Angevine and his players had been hoping for a good turnout for the game against the Vikings since the start of the regular season, and they had gotten it. The Park City side was packed with cheering spectators adorned in white, in keeping for the team’s whiteout theme for the game.
“We really appreciate the support of our youth hockey program,” he said, referring to the youth players in the student section who had been intense enough in their cheers to draw warnings of ejection if they didn’t stay off the Plexiglas.
The next thing Angevine did was remind the team that this was a big game, but even after their loss, they were still OK.
There’s a good chance the 9-3 Miners will face the Vikings again in the state championship playoffs, later this month, though the result meant the Ice Miners have slipped to third behind NUI D1 Varsity (9-2).
Still, Angevine is hopeful.
“It would have been nice to win this game, but this is not the game we have to win,” Angevine said.
One wouldn’t have known that from the game’s intensity.
The Miners had come out on a mission, doling out big hits from the moment the puck hit the ice. But their aggression also hurt them.
Ice Miner Grant Stevens shot from just inside of the Vikings’ blue line, which rattled through traffic and found the net after deflecting off a defender. But the goal was called off due to a high stick, and the first period ended 0-0.
Forty seconds into the second period, Park City’s Wes Griffin was involved in a shoving match with a Viking player. He was called for checking in the back, which goes down as a 10 minute penalty, plus a call for roughing, which carries a 2 minute penalty, and for interference, another 2 minutes.
Park City’s Marc Collaizzi was also involved in the tussle, as was Viewmont’s Matt Leighter, both of whom were called for roughing.
The resulting run of power play gave the Vikings the advantage they needed to tip the scales.
Viewmont’s Austin Adams scored in the first play after the penalties were given.
The second Viewmont goal came 22 seconds before the end of the second period, when Ice Miner Scott Burnette was carrying the puck back toward his own goal, trailed by a Viking wing, and, behind him, Adams.
Burnette, outnumbered and looking for a way to clear the puck, appeared to mistake Adams as his teammate, and back passed to the Viking goal scorer, who took advantage of his clear shot on goal and put Viewmont up 2-0.
Park City returned to full strength with 1:48 left in the second.
During that brief window, Park City’s Nick Lippman broke from the defense in front of the Vikings’ goal, deked the goalie then shelved the puck in the top of the net with 13:31 left in the game.
The Miners then had a spell of power plays, after Talon Matern was called for hooking with 11:23 left in the game.
However, the Miners still spent four minutes playing a man down, after Colin Van Valkenburgh was called for interference, then slashing, giving the Miners a minute-long window at even strength at the end of the game, which dwindled until 10 seconds left when Colaizzi was called for cross checking. Viewmont gained possession in the final seconds and time ran out.
The Miners spent a total of 22 minutes and 10 seconds in the penalty box, compared with the Vikings’ 6 minutes, 16 seconds.
“Another lesson we took from tonight was, it was very much a playoff type of environment,” Angevine said. “It was very loud, lots of people, it was very sensory overload. So one thing we discussed and we will talk about more going into playoffs is, we have to learn to play in high-stress situations, you have to be able to control the emotions. Use them to your advantage, don’t let them run you away.”
Despite their time in the box, the Miners still managed to put 14 shots on goal, compared with Viewmont’s 15.
The Miners will finish out the regular season with three Wednesday-night home games: Against the SLC Stars (7-5-1) on Jan. 9, against Farmington (8-3-1) on Jan. 16 and against Sky Canyon (4-6-1) on Jan. 23. All of the games are at 6:30 p.m. at the Park City Ice Arena.
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Dave Hanscom announced last month he was retiring as volunteer race director of the Wasatch Citizens Series after 30 years in the position.