Summit High hockey pounces on Coronado in 6-2 road win
Tigers travel to Battle Mountain on Wednesday, return to home ice Saturday
BRECKENRIDGE — Despite the weekend’s winter weather canceling every other Summit High School sports game, the Tigers varsity hockey team (3-1) braved the conditions to pick up a road win.
Riding the energy of its first win in years over Steamboat Springs, the Summit High Tigers won 6-2 Saturday night at Coronado.
Tigers head coach Joey Otsuka said he was proud of the way Summit opened the game versus Coronado, considering it took 4 1/2 hours to reach the game by bus. Summit kicked-off its dominant offensive performance 20 seconds into the game with a goal from Jack Sherlock, a sign that Summit’s talented first line was firing on all cylinders.
“We really dominated the pace of the play the entire game, almost,” Otsuka said. “The players responded very well. It was a tough drive there, but we were able to kind of rally things together right before the game, come off to a good start and never really let go.”
The junior forward Sherlock is joined on the first line by senior forward Isaac Eland and senior forward Mark Bellavance. Otsuka said he was encouraged to see the trio stick with what the team was practicing earlier in the week. Otsuka said it was a point of emphasis with the first line to replicate the pressures of a game in practice, and the strategy seemed to work out.
Following Sherlock’s opening goal, Summit continued to find success in getting pucks deep into Coronado’s zone. From there, the Tigers worked well with one another down low, winning puck battles and making smart physical decisions. The aggressive and confident nature of Summit’s play led to a goal from sophomore defender Blaze Ebbinghaus at the end of the first period for a 2-0 lead.
Dec. 7: at Heritage, L, 8-2
Dec. 11: vs. Steamboat Springs, W, 6-3
Dec. 14: at Coronado, W, 6-2
Dec. 18: at Battle Mountain, L, 4-1
Dec. 21: vs. Glenwood Springs, W, 3-2
Jan. 4: at Mullen, L, 2-5
Jan. 10: vs. Crested Butte, W, 5-1
Jan. 11: vs. Crested Butte, W, 6-3
Jan. 17: at Palmer, W, 6-0
Jan. 18: vs. Aspen, W, 6-2
Jan. 25: Chaparral, 5 p.m.
Jan. 31: at Steamboat Springs, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 7: at Glenwood Springs, 7:45 p.m.
Feb. 8: at Aspen, 6:15 p.m.
Feb. 12: vs. Battle Mountain, 6:45 p.m.
Feb. 14: at Liberty, 6:45 p.m.
Feb. 15: vs. Woodland Park, 3 p.m.
Feb. 22: vs. Standley Lake, 6 p.m.
On the other end of the ice, senior goaltender Jake Mallory manned the net for the Tigers, turning away all but two of Coronado’s 20 shots on goal. In front of Mallory, Otsuka said senior defender Nick Davis and sophomore defender Zach Carleton set the tone in the Tigers’ zone. The duo and Summit’s defenders found success distributing the puck, making smart plays and getting Coronado to bite, leading to Summit counter attack execution.
After Coronado scored early in the second period to pull within one, Summit scored three goals over the ensuing 10 minutes of play. The first came from sophomore forward Hank Kasch, who Otsuka said has been on a tear this season getting good shots on goal.
Kasch’s goal was followed up by a score from senior winger Max Bonenberger. Otsuka said he was especially impressed with the senior speedster’s goal because it came from in and around the net rather than a north-south transitional play. Eland then rounded out the second period scoring on a play that exhibited the senior’s chemistry with Bellavance and Sherlock. Sherlock then provided the exclamation point sixth goal in the third period to seal the win.
“If they can keep that chemistry and kind of rely on it when the going gets tough, it’s going to be great,” Otsuka said.
The Tigers will return to the ice at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, for a rivalry game at Dobson Ice Arena in Vail versus Battle Mountain. Summit will return home to take on Glenwood Springs at 6 p.m. Saturday.
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