Summit hockey skates into the win column after a 3-1 victory over Colorado Academy
In its first game at home in the new year, the Summit High School hockey team was starving for a win.
After several losses to start the season, Summit saw a chance to add a tally to the win column on Friday, Jan. 7, when the team tied 2-2 with Durango, but the team then proceeded to lose the next day to the Durango Demons, 2-1, in overtime.
Against Colorado Academy High School on Tuesday, Jan. 10, Summit worked to rectify the losses over the last several weeks with a triumphant win. Summit hung tough for a full 51 minutes of play, and in the end it was enough to beat the Colorado Academy Mustangs, 3-1.
From the opening puck drop the game was aggressive. In fact, there may have been more body checks and hits than shots on goal between the two nonleague, 4A-classification teams.
The aggressive, high-speed play resulted in several first-period penalties with Summit getting the first chance to go on the power play a few minutes into the game.
The power play woke up the Tigers’ offense and allowed the team to gain some momentum through shots on goal.
With the penalty expired, Summit continued to fire shots on net until a hook from Summit’s Roman Berger put Colorado Academy on a two-minute power play of its own.
Summit defensemen kept the puck away from Colorado Academy to kill the penalty and keep the score tied at 0.
Summit went into the first intermission tied with Colorado Academy but leading in the shots on net column at 16-12.
Even though Summit appeared to end the first period with momentum on its side, the Tigers allowed a goal to slip past them in the early minutes of the second period. The Mustangs’ goal put the team up, 1-0.
Summit did not let the goal dampen its pursuit for a win. Rather the team was fueled to dig deeper to push past the Mustangs.
With increased level of intensity, Summit scored two quick goals to go up 2-1. After the two goals, Summit rocketed shot after shot on net.
Junior Cole Stuckey was awarded Summit’s third goal of the game after he fired a rocket of a shot from the blue line.
Quick passing and movement led to several more opportunities for Summit before the end of the second period. At the end of the period, Summit led 3-1 as the team headed into the final period of play.
The third period consisted of Summit playing on its heels, trying to keep Colorado Academy from scoring.
The Mustangs took the ice in the third period, aggressive and frustrated by the score. The Mustangs did everything in its power to try to score a goal. Several times, Colorado Academy tried to get Summit to lose its focus and make a mistake, but Summit stuck to its game plan.
The final five minutes of the game seemed to take 20 minutes, with Colorado Academy firing shot after shot at sophomore Matthew Tater in net.
“I tried to not look at the scoreboard,” Tater said of the third period. “I was thinking about it as a 0-0 game — not letting anything in.”
Diving for pucks, flashing his glove and stretching out for the save, Tater remained stoic in goal. Tater and the Summit defense closed out the game to give Summit its first win of the season.
Facing 42 shots on goal and only allowing one goal to find the back of the net, Tater finished the game with a save percentage of 97.6%.
“It feels great to get the win,” Tater said. “We just had to break the ice. We played amazing. I can’t put it all on myself. The team played great. There is nothing else to say besides we are going to celebrate this win and hopefully move on from it.”
Summit advances to 1-4-1 on the season and Colorado Academy falls to 5-2. Summit will look to continue to roll with momentum as it faces one of its league rivals — Crested Butte High School — on Friday, Jan. 13, at Stephen C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge.
“It is going to be a battle against our rivals,” Tater said of the game between Crested Butte. “Hopefully we can come away with a win.”
The game is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.
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