On senior night, emotions run high.
On Saturday night, they were high enough for Summit to dominate Aspen at the hockey rink. And for a freshman to step up and throw a hat trick in the 5-2 victory.
In a game that saw 50 shots on goal from Aspen, just two went in, thanks in large part to goaltender Reiker Edstrom. But the game didn't stop there.
"Everybody stepped up. We knew they were a good team coming in. We focused on our defensive zone and what we needed to do to contribute to a win, and it starts with Reiker up to the defensemen all the way up to the forwards," head coach Chris Ruhly said. "We played a good game today. The mistakes weren't there. We didn't play for 51 minutes, but when you don't play for 51 minutes and don't make the mistakes, that's what happens."
All this after a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Stanley Lake Friday night.
It helps to have an emergent performance from freshman George Kamins, who tipped the puck into the net twice and then patiently waited for his third shot, which hit the corner. Kamins had a goal in each period.
Aspen's Garrett Goldsmith responded once while Jack Doremus put it through the five-hole with less than four minutes left in the game.
The other goals came unassisted from senior captain Sean Farley and Travis Potts. Farley scored on a power play while Aspen's Will Van Allen was in the penalty box. Potts responded to Doremus' goal when he intercepted the puck and fought for control as he skated it toward the Aspen goal, breaking away from his defender for the shot.
"Hats off to the seniors. What a way for them to go out," Ruhly said.
The seniors blasted music in the locker room to celebrate the win.
"It was good to go out and get a win against a solid team like Aspen, especially on our senior night when sometimes you don't win on senior night and it's depressing. But this was awesome, we're having a lot of fun," Farley said, adding that the home turf crowd played a large part in the energy, "especially when we scored the last goal and the crowd went crazy. I don't think Aspen had it in them to come back."
Aspen head coach Al Butler gave a lot of credit to Edstrom's goaltending for the win.
"We played a good game," he said. "Their goalie played unbelievable, no question. He kept them in the game. They capitalized on their chances, and we didn't capitalize on ours. That's what happens when you get 50 shots and score two goals. You're not going to win too many games."
Both teams are vying for a playoff spot. Though Summit has to win against Steamboat on Friday, postseason chances hinge on Saturday's Dakota Ridge vs. Chatfield game. Aspen still has two games, at least one of which must be a win.
"They know what they need to do now, and our backs are against the wall; we'll see how they perform," Butler said.