If confidence is the reason why Summit's hockey team has dropped the puck on so many games this season, perhaps Friday's 6-0 shutout on home ice against Cherry Creek will give the boost needed to play out the remainder of the season with wins.
Friday's victory kept Summit in the 13th rankings slot, behind Dakota Ridge, to whom the team lost on Jan. 26.
"It was a nice win for us, a big win," head coach Chris Ruhly said. He'd previously said the contest was going to be a tough one, with Cherry Creek a team that pulls its players not just from one high school but from the region.
Ruhly was particularly proud that scoring was spread across the entire Tiger team, with several firsts coming in the game. Like Finnish exchange student Simo Korpela's first goal - a long-awaited one.
"We've been looking for that and were excited about getting a goal from him," Ruhly said of his defense player.
Mike Farley got his first goal of his high school career on Friday, assisted by George Kasch and Korpela. George Kamins has stepped into a scoring role, and Jack Nevicosi and Sean Farley kept doing what they do best, scoring a goal each in the game. Karl Olsson-deem sealed the deal in the otherwise scoreless third period.
"It was a must-win," Ruhly said. "We rose up and bounced back after a disappointing loss to Dakota Ridge last weekend."
Though the offense was strong, it helped that Reiker Edstrom took 45 shots in 51 minutes and didn't let a single one enter the net - his second shutout of the season. Summit put up 30 shots on Cherry Creek.
To move toward playoffs and tick up in the rankings, the Tigers must keep the momentum moving forward.
"We've taken two steps back after every step forward," Ruhly said. "We got a step forward; we can't afford to take two steps backward."
Particularly since Battle Mountain sent Summit home with their tails between their legs early in the season.
"We need to continue to win," Ruhly said. "(Battle Mountain) embarassed us the second game of the season by a score of 7-2, so this is a little bit of redemption."
The teams face off at 6:30 Monday at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge.