Summit Tigers shut out Centaurus Warriors in season opener |

Summit Tigers shut out Centaurus Warriors in season opener

Hockey team falls 10-6 to Cheyenne Mountain to start the season 1-1

The Summit High School Tigers hockey team celebrates as the student section crashes against the glass after the Tigers won 3-0 against the Centaurus Warriors on Friday, Dec. 3, in Breckenridge.
Jason Connolly/For the Summit Daily News

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the result of Saturday night’s game.

Hockey season is back in Summit County as the Summit High School Tigers hockey team faced off against the Centaurus Warriors on Friday, Dec. 3, at Stephen C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge.

The Tigers were 2-11 last season while the young Centaurus program was 4-5.

The Tigers opened the season looking to rely on a new sense of depth in the program as the high school has both a junior varsity and varsity roster for the first time since the 2019 season.

The Tigers started the game off firing on all cylinders from the first faceoff, spurred on by the cheers of the home crowd.

“I thought we brought good energy right from the start, and that really helped,” head coach JR Engelbert said. “I think having the student section and the fans back in the rink this year, the kids really thrived off having that energy, and it showed right from the start to the end.”

The Tigers were able to capitalize off the surge of energy by scoring two goals in the first period of play.

The first came with a little under three minutes to play in the first period when Zach Carleton fed Blaze Ebbinghaus a pass to fire a shot past the Centaurus goalie and into the back of the net.

The Tigers continued to put the Warriors on the ropes in the first period as they executed on a power play when Boone Steinberg passed to Carleton, who made another beautiful pass to Tyler Wilson to put the Tigers up 2-0 going into the first intermission.

“We were fortunate enough to spend a lot of the first period on the power play,” Engelbert said. “We were able to take advantage to get our two goals.”

Engelbert said he was pleased how the team played in the opening period but said the Tigers couldn’t take anything for granted in the rest of the game. Summit still needed to keep the energy and execute if it wanted to push past Centaurus.

Boone Steinberg, left, stretches out to try to secure the puck against Centaurus on Friday, Dec. 3, at Stephen C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge.
Jason Connolly/For the Summit Daily News

The second period of play was penalty ridden with lots of back and forth between the two teams. There were many man advantage scenarios for both teams, but both squads were able to kill off penalties in order to go scoreless in the second period, with the Tigers still up 2-0.

“The second period was tough for both teams,” Engelbert said. “Just not a lot of flow to the game when there are a lot of penalties like that. It was a lot of people trying to weather storms and just trying to escape.”

In the third period, there was more back-and-forth play, but late in the game, the Tigers were able to put it away for good when Ebbinghaus was able to score his second goal of the game. The open-net, unassisted goal meant a 3-0 shutout for the Tigers, giving the team its first win of the season.

“They weren’t going to be outworked anywhere on the ice, and that showed,” Engelbert said. “We had a few weeks of getting our game plan dialed in, and they did a good job changing it on the fly and executing it.”

Engelbert said even though the team played solid against Centaurus on Friday, they will look to clean up some things.

“Nothing glaring from this game, but just one game at a time,” Engelbert said. “… It’s the first game of the season, and there’s a lot of road ahead.”

The Tigers had a quick turnaround for their second game, traveling to Colorado Springs to play Cheyenne Mountain on Saturday, Dec. 4.

The Tigers came out and battled against the Red-Tailed Hawks in a close-fought battle for the majority of the game, with both teams finding offensive opportunities to score. In the third period, however, Cheyenne Mountain capitalized on the tired legs of the Summit hockey team and a hot streak for their offense, scoring multiple times in a span of a couple of minutes to put the game out of reach for the Tigers.

Cheyenne Mountain won the high-scoring affair 10-6. Summit will take the upcoming week to recover from back-to-back games and prepare to face the Aspen Skiers in Aspen on Saturday, Dec. 11.

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