PCHS hockey stifles Salt Lake Stars
November 13, 2015
It didn’t take long for the Park City High School hockey team to make its presence felt on Wednesday night at the Park City Ice Arena.
Playing against the Salt Lake Stars, the Miners scored twice in the first two minutes and added another before the end of the first period in a game they’d hold on to win, 5-2.
Marc Colaizzi got Park City on the board 39 seconds after the opening faceoff. Shortly after, Will Miele scored, with Corey Klein assisting on the play.
A little over a minute later, the Stars cut Park City’s lead to 2-1 via a Bryce Miller goal. But, before the end of the first period, Jack Hanskat beat the Salt Lake goalie to give the Miners a 3-1 lead at the first intermission. Miele and Klein assisted Hanskat’s goal.
In the second period, Daniel Hebert scored off an assist by Kyler Walterson 38 seconds in. Then, with just 57 seconds left before the second intermission, Miele scored his second goal — assisted by Lance Jenkins and Easton Barber — to send the Miners into the break with a 5-1 lead.
The only goal scored in the third period was a power-play score from Salt Lake’s Austin Miller.
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After losing to Viewmont 5-1 to start the season, Park City (5-1 overall) has reeled off five straight wins. Team captain Aidan Shaw said the Miners are on a roll now that players are settling into their new roles.
"This year, we had a lot of skilled players," he said. "It’s a different game because we’re not as big and aggressive [as last year] — we’re more skilled and fast. It’s different, but we’re getting used to it now."
Defensively, sophomore Beau Pederson said the Miners are trying to balance aggressiveness with protecting the goal.
"We don’t have the horses we have last year," he said. "We graduated a bunch of seniors, so we have to play a little more cautious. We’re still trying to play offense, though. Our defense had a lot of shots tonight and we’re trying to be aggressive still."
As far as goalie play goes, Pederson said he and the other defenders have noticed significant improvement from Ishan Chho this season. Chho finished with 25 saves on 27 shots Wednesday night and has consistently been facing more shots than he did last season.
"I think he’s just a lot more confident this year," Pederson said. "He’s not afraid out there. He knows he’s good and he can prove it now."
Last year’s Miner squad frequently scored 10 or more goals, something this year’s team has yet to accomplish. But, Shaw said, this year’s team is playing better as a unit.
"I like the team play this year — we pass all the time," he said. "Last year, we had a bunch of players with individual talent who would just go score. Now this year, since we’re passing more, we’re going to come together more as a unit by the end of the year."
Park City faces a tough end-of-year schedule. The Miners only have one more home game, with four road games remaining. But, Pederson said, Park City will try to ensure it gets more home games in the postseason.
"It’s going to be a grind, but it’s also motivation," he said.
In order to be successful the remainder of the season, Shaw said the Miners have to continue improving in all aspects of the game. As the season winds down and the playoffs approach, he said the competition will get tougher.
"We need to score more goals and step up our defense," he said. "The good teams are hard to score goals on, so we need to put more in the net and keep practicing that. Once we get to the playoffs, we just need to really grind hard."
Park City is tied with Davis County with 10 points apiece in the Utah High School Hockey Division 1 standings. Viewmont leads the division with 12 points and an unblemished 6-0 record. Though the Miners aren’t as powerful offensively as they were last year, Pederson said there’s no reason the team can’t make a deep playoff run.
"We can definitely be one of the best teams this year," he said.
Park City’s final home game of the season is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 9, against Corner Canyon. The opening faceoff is scheduled for 7:45 p.m.
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