New Hockey Season with New Coach

Photo credit to PCHS Hockey Instagram (@minershockeypchs)

Photo credit to PCHS Hockey Instagram (@minershockeypchs)

Cutler Schofield, Reporter

On September 25th, Park City High School Boys Hockey faced off against the Uintah Utes to kick off the 2021 season. The Miners went into the game with a whole new coaching staff, but they didn’t skip a beat, winning 6-0.

 

The Miners are back to back defending state champions, but this year they have a whole new coaching staff, led by new head coach Jack Skille. He has the credentials to keep this dynasty going, as he was picked by the Chicago Blackhawks as the seventh7th overall pick in 2007. He also played in Europe for three3 years for Red Bull Salzburg. And after the 6-0 victory, many people are happy to see him coaching behind the bench.

 

Saturday’s game was a great way for Park City to start off the season. They dominated the time of possession and got six6 different players on the score sheet, and all of the student fans loved it. Seniors Corbin Luettinger and Bryce Bargowski commented on the student section present at the game.

 

“It was pretty tight but it was pretty fun. It was awesome,” said Senior Corbin Luettinger.  “It was my first game. Seeing the students actually made me really nervous. It kind of sent adrenaline pumping all through my body, but it got me hype,” said Senior Bryce Bargowski. “It was good to see how many people actually came and supported us. I don’t think that’s ever happened, really. That many people. And I’m excited to see that happen again. I’m excited for even more people to come.”

 

Even with the nervousness that newer players experienced because of the student section, they were happy to see the support. There were around 150 students, dressed in all black, cheering on the Miners. The theme of the game was a funeral for Uintah, foreshadowing a “murder” of the Utes.

 

Besides the goals that Park City scored, one of the most entertaining parts of the game was a fight in the second period. Senior TJ Griswold was punched in the face as he took on two players as well as the goalie. Griswold spent most of the time in front of the net screening the goalie, when the goalie finally was fed up. He shoved Griswold, and then punched him in the face. Other players soon engaged.

“TJ got punched in the face by the goalie because he was screening him, and the goalie got mad because he was getting scored on a ton, so he punched TJ. And then the goalie got ejected and then they had to wait like 20 minutes for the JV goalie to show up because they didn’t have a back up,” said Luettinger.

 

After the goalie was ejected, they also gave one of the Uintah players a 5 minute major penalty for joining the fight. This led to two more goals for Park City. This was a fortunate opportunity for the team to show off their new systems that Coach Skille gave them.

 

Coach Skille implemented new systems for all areas of the ice. They are running a new forecheck, defensive zone, and special team plays. After four weeks of practices, the Miners got to show off these newer and higher leveled systems. The systems were most definitely effective, as they shut out Uintah.

 

“I think the biggest part of it is how over time we’re going to get better. But like I said before, playing on D2 there is a big difference because we’re actually using systems Skille has put in place. And that we’ve solidified a practice. I mean, the systems in general are pretty good,” said Bargowski.

 

One of the major factors of Park City’s hockey success is Senior Colten McIntre. He plays goalie and has been to three state championships, and won the last two. He has also led the league in shutouts and goals against. He is considered one of the best high school goalies in Utah.  

 

Freshman Cooper Ford scored his first ever high school goal on Saturday, earning the game puck after the game. He scored the fifth goal out of the six total scored against the Utes. Bargowski, one of his line-mates, described the goal as electric.

 

“He was getting so hype and then due to how many penalties there were, it was a really physical game. We’re not on the power play, so we didn’t have much opportunity to go out there. But in the end, he ended up putting one in the back of the net because of TJ’s unfortunate wrap-around. But no, he was really excited about it. He started celebrating really hard,” said Bargowski.

 

All together, the team is excited about the season to come. The players are confident with how good the team could be under new Coach Jack Skille.