As mid-winter play begins, Summit boy’s hockey continues to struggle on offense
Special to the Daily
Summit vs. Kent Denver — Jan. 6
P1 P2 P3 Final
Summit 0 1 0 1
Kent Denver 3 0 3 6
Summit vs. Chatfield — Jan. 11
P1 P2 P3 Final
Summit 3 2 2 7
Chatfield 1 3 3 7
The Summit Tigers boy’s hockey team started the New Year with a busy first two weeks after a tough start to the season in December.
Summit vs. Kent Denver | Jan. 6
Immediately after the start of school in early January, the Tigers faced off in a home matchup against Kent Denver School on Jan. 6. The Tigers and the Sun Devils both faced offensive woes coming into the game, as Kent had only managed six goals through four games and the Tigers managed a mere one net through two games.
It didn’t take Kent long to put an end to their scoring woes. The Sun Devils struck early and often against the Tigers. Bad turnovers in the first period and untimely penalties forced the Tigers to play defensively in the first frame. The Sun Devils made them pay, as the visitors found the back of the net three times in the first period.
The Tigers appeared more energized in the second period, led by sophomore Ben Carlson. He drew several defenders near and dished the puck to fellow sophomore Tim Herwig, who cut the lead to 3-1 with the team’s second goal of the season.
Despite showing signs of life in the second period, the Summit offense sputtered out in the final frame and Kent once again found its stride. The Sun Devils buried three more to gain their first win of the season and hand Summit its third consecutive loss.
Summit at Chatfield | Jan. 11
On Jan. 11, the Tigers traveled to Denver to take on the Chatfield Chargers, and finally, in the fourth game of the season, the offense roared to life.
Early in the game, a Chatfield player took a five-minute major penalty for checking from behind, which resulted in an extended power play for the Tigers. The Tigers registered three power play goals in the five-minute stretch — an impressive stretch, and more scoring than the team had seen so far this season — with goals from sophomore Sean Gurlea, freshman Max Bonenberger and fellow freshman D’artagnan Barson.
It seemed that the Tigers were rolling and could not be stopped, but as they gave up a late first-period goal, they were brought back to earth by a stunned Chatfield team that finally seemed to catch their bearings. The Chargers scored twice early in the second period to level the game at three apiece.
Undeterred by the surge, freshman Issac Eland scored a goal thanks to a set-up by Sean Gurlea. This put the Tigers ahead again, 4-3, with a few minutes remaining in the period.
The lead was short-lived, as Chatfield once again evened things up with a short-handed goal. Then, Tigers sophomore Ben Carlson put his team back ahead, sending his team into the locker room with a fragile one-goal lead after two frames.
The Tigers once again extended the lead as Bonenberger scored a mere 36 seconds into the third to put the Tigers up, 6-4. In a cruel twist of fate, the Tigers drew a five-minute major for checking from behind — the very penalty that sling-shotted them ahead in the first period — and gave the Chargers the opportunity they needed to fight back.
Fight they did. Chatfield scored two goals in less than two minutes, and just like that the score was leveled at six goals each.
Third-period penalty trouble continued to hamper the Tigers. Summit players made five trips to the sin bin and played much of the third period on the penalty kill, giving the Chargers numerous opportunities.
With fewer than three minutes remaining, Summit forward Carlson and defenseman Luke Gosnell were both serving penalties when the Chargers scored and gained their first lead of the game, going up 7-6.
The timing was fortuitous. Although Carlson’s major penalty didn’t release for another few minutes, the goal released Gosnell and the Tigers had one last chance to even the score with even numbers. With less than a minute to go, Carlson and senior defenseman Brian Curnutte connected with Bonenberger for his third goal of the game and first career hat trick — not to mention the tying goal with 41 seconds to go. Other highlights include Carlson, who picked up a goal and three assists, and goaltender Kyle Rodgers, who finished with 39 saves.
Despite the offensive sparks, the Chatfield game served as a stark reminder of how penalties can affect a game. Bonenberger joined one of only a handful of Summit High freshmen, including Sean Farley and Jack Nevicosi, to record a hat trick during their freshman seasons.
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