Slow starts and penalties were the story again Monday night as the Summit Tiger hockey team fell to Bishop Machebeuf High School at home 7-3.
Machebeuf’s Jack Longenecker kicked off the Buffaloes’ early scoring run, putting the puck past Summit goalie Bode Culbreath just 53 seconds into the first period. The Buffaloes followed up the initial score with two more quick goals in the first five minutes of play.
Tiger coach Bobby Dore said his young team continues to struggle with consistency.
“When the kids do the system, we are very successful,” he said. “When we get away from it, we get in trouble.”
Machebeuf’s Duncan McIntosh added a fourth goal with 5:15 left in the period, prompting a Tiger goalie switch to Wyatt Dickerson. Dickerson was able to slow the Buffaloes fast-paced offense, as the Tigers picked up their defensive efforts through most of the second and third periods.
“He played very well the rest of the game,” Dore said of Dickerson’s effort.
Summit’s Jack Nevicosi was able to put the Tigers on the board with a goal late in the first period. Summit held Machebeuf to three goals for the remainder of the game, and scored two more of their own in the third.
“Take away the bad start, and we’re right in it,” Dore said. “We’ve been in every game, except for last night.”
With the loss the Tigers fell to 0-6 on the season, 0-3 in conference. Dore cited his team’s youth and experience as the biggest hurdles so far this season.
“We’re a young team,” he said. “We only have one senior. Most of the guys didn’t get much playing time last season.”
The team graduated a number of seniors after falling one game shy of making the playoffs last season. Dore took over the squad this year after being an assistant to former Tiger coach Chris Ruhly, who took a coaching position with Mullen High School in Denver.
With 11 conference games remaining, the Tigers can still turn things around and have a chance going forward. The current lowest playoff seed only has two conference wins.
“There’s a chance,” Dore said. “It’s a long shot ... The potential is there if the kids play to their abilities.”
“It’s a rough start,” Nevicosi said of the season so far. But the junior told the Daily that the team is starting to gain experience. “We’re starting to realize from the games we played that we can win. But we need to play by the system. If we don’t we won’t have a chance”
The Tigers next game is at first-place Monarch, Jan. 10. They’ll host Dakota Ridge Saturday.