Park City took down Farmington 5-1 on Monday to win the UHSHL state championship
The third time is the charm.
As the Park City fans began counting down to the end of the high school hockey state championship game at the Steiner Aquatic Center in Salt Lake City, Josh Angevine finally cracked an elusive smile.
It may have taken three tries, but Park City High School hockey coach finally earned it after the Miners took down Farmington 5-1 on Monday night to win the Utah High School Hockey League division one state championship.
“I’ll give you a smile and enjoy tonight,” Angevine said with a laugh when asked how he was going to celebrate. “The boys earned this. … And after all the hard work they’ve put in this season and throughout the years, it feels good. It’s nice to finally get in here and walk away with one.”
Prior to Monday night, Park City had played in the state championship twice in the past three years, losing in crushing fashion each time. At that time and without knowing it, skating off the ice with the second place trophy was something that would help motivate the Miners throughout this season.
“I was just saying to the guys that I remember being on the other side of this last season and it was rough. … I didn’t sleep at all that night because it sucks losing,” said senior Connor Schulz. “I’ve been looking forward to this every single day since then, and with a team like we have where we are all brothers, it just feels great to get that win. It was a team win, and that’s what makes it even more special.”
Schulz was sensational for Park City in the state title game, notching a hat trick. He finished the 2020 postseason as the state’s leading scorer with nine goals in four games, a dominating performance that saw him evolve as a player after scoring just eight goals in 15 regular season games.
“It was an unbelievable performance by Connor tonight. … He showed up and did what he came to do,” Angevine said. “He’s got the big body and good strength, he’s got good hands and a really good hockey vision where he sees the ice well. Obviously he gets that big body in front of the net and does some great things.”
With Schulz providing the offense, the best goalie in the state of Utah, according to Angevine, also did what he came to do.
Sophomore Colten McIntyre finished with 31 saves, never breaking under the relentless offensive pressure put on him by Farmington. Over the course of the state tournament, McIntyre went 3-0, leading the state in saves (57), goals against average (.250) and save percentage (.983).
He came so close to preserving his third shutout of the postseason, but a fluke goal by Farmington late in the third period took that away. Ever the positive player, McIntyre just laughed it off with Park City already up 5-0 prior to that moment.
“It was funny because there’s a goalie superstition where you don’t say ‘shutout’ before or during a game if it’s happening,” McIntyre said with a smile. “(Sebastian) Skeffington said shutout in the locker room before the third period and I was like ‘oh no.’ So later I see that puck coming down towards me and I think I’m just going to pass it out but it hops right over my stick. … And all I could be was ‘oh my god, that was crazy’.”
The first time these two teams met in the postseason came 12 days ago in the semifinals, a 4-0 Park City victory, and the Miners got off to a slow start with score being tied at zero through the first period.
Angevine’s message to the team was to get off to a fast start, knowing that with McIntyre in goal, an early lead could be very demoralizing for Farmington.
Well he got what he asked for with Schulz scoring twice in the opening period.
The first goal came with Schulz deflecting a shot into the goal at the 10:42 mark, before adding his second goal four minutes later as the Miners were on a power play.
After a scoreless second period, Park City erupted in third with three goals over a three-minute period to put the game on ice.
Senior Scott Burnette got the first goal of the third when he put in a shot after Tyler Fisher’s attempt sailed just wide, but bounced right off the wall and back in front of the net. Schulz then got the hat trick two minutes later when he cleaned up after a scramble in front of the Farmington net. After a pass from Skeffington, senior Ryan Jeffrey capped off the scoring 21 seconds later with a great shot across the face of the goalie.
“Coming in to tonight, the message was the same as the last time we played Farmington. … Don’t get too high or too low and to keep it simple by enjoying the moment,” Angevine said.
Park City took Monday night to enjoy the victory, and maybe the rest of the week. But the season isn’t over yet as the Miners have advanced to the national tournament — which takes place at the end of March in Dallas. The team is expected to get back to work next week, something the boys and Angevine are all looking forward to.
“The next time we step on the ice together, we reset because we have other goals now ahead of us,” Angevine said.
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The Miners ended up on the wrong side of a close game on senior night but are still fighting for playoff seeding.