Penalties hinder Tigers in loss to Aspen
FARMER’S KORNER – A consistently warm bench in the penalty box spelled doom for the Summit High hockey team Saturday in a 6-3 loss to Aspen.”They got caught up in a lot of the antics and chippiness and (complained about) referees not making calls,” Tigers coach Bryan Smith said after his team was whistled for 12 penalties resulting in 24 total minutes. “We can’t get caught up in that stuff, we have to battle through it and move on.”Summit, which fell to 1-1 both overall and in this weekend’s King of the Mountain Tournament at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge, struggled most against the defending state champs during the second period.Down 3-2, the Tigers sent two players to the box on two separate occasions, which left them at a 5-3 disadvantage on back-to-back Skiers power plays. The visitors eventually cashed in, compounding Summit’s frustration.”A couple times we just lost our heads,” said Tommy Moles, who was involved in a brief scuffle in front of the Aspen net and was penalized accordingly. “We always like to play physical and maybe sometimes it gets us out of the game – we just have to keep it clean.”
The Skiers were no angels either, racking up eight penalties. Still, both head coaches said they believed some calls were missed.”Personally, I thought there could have been a few more (penalties) called both ways,” Aspen’s Al Butler said. “But it’s always so subjective – you’ve got different refs reffing different games, you just don’t know what to expect.”Butler’s team came out ready to play from the get-go after a 2-1 loss to Battle Mountain on Friday.”The work ethic wasn’t there on Friday night,” Butler said, “But today these guys came out and showed they’re definitely capable of making another run at it. … Summit’s always physical and they come at you hard and that’s what we were expecting. We just wanted to make sure we had the same intensity they did.”
“I’ve always coached a physical game,” Smith said. “And I think something we kind of lacked today was matching (Aspen’s) physical play.”Jeff Montepare scored all three of Summit’s goals, earning his second hat trick in as many days.The senior’s first tally tied the score at 1 with 3 minutes, 35 seconds remaining in the first period. Moles provided the assist on a perfectly delivered feed from behind the net during a power play.Montepare’s second goal was on a long breakaway that began behind Summit’s blue line. With both a teammate and a defender in toe as he streaked down the ice, the forward eventually buried the shot, tying the game at 2, but the hosts would never get any closer.Montepare’s third goal, assisted by Scott Noble, made it 5-3 skiers with 9:29 remaining in the game.
Summit’s freshman goalie Andrew Dunlap made 18 saves in his varsity debut.Saturday’s late game between Battle Mountain (2-0) and Summit finished after press time.Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-4634, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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