SHS hockey wins overtime thriller
BRECKENRIDGE – The Summit High School hockey team couldn’t stay out of the penalty box against Palmer on Saturday, but in the end it didn’t matter.With 2:13 left in overtime, senior forward Michael Zajicek took a pass from Cam Carlson and put it in between the legs of worn-out Terror goalie Steve Ladefoged to end the game and give Summit the 2-1 victory.”I wanted to score really bad,” Zajicek said. “We were meant to win.”Summit has struggled with consistency all season. Saturday’s game was no different, except they played at their highest level at the end instead of much earlier.
“If we could only play three periods like we did this overtime …” Summit coach Colin Smith said.Twelve Summit penalties kept the Tigers shorthanded for much of the game. In the second period there was at least one Summit player in the box for almost 11 minutes straight, including one point where four Tigers were couped up together.”That was not how I wanted it to happen,” Smith said. “The discipline on the team had gotten much better, but it wasn’t there tonight.”When they were shorthanded, the Tigers had to bend, but they never broke.Three different times, Summit faced a three-on-five situation. In each instance, they came away unscathed. In fact, the only goal that made it past junior goalie Seth Wickham was a long slap shot when both teams were at full strength.
“If you kill off a five-on-three, it’s a complete momentum shift,” Smith said. “We never scored after any of those (five-on-three’s), but it gave us confidence.”The momentum made its biggest turn in the second period. After a lackluster first period, the Tigers looked as if they were going to put on a repeat performance of the day before, when they lost 3-1 to visiting Liberty. But midway through the second, trailing 1-0 and on their heels, the senior captain Carlson delivered a huge check on Palmer forward Tate Doolittle. The hit was clean, but more importantly it sent a shock wave through the Summit bench, changing the tempo of the game until Zajicek ended it.”We need big hits like that,” Smith said. “But we need clean hits. I told the team to keep it clean and finish your checks. This was the most physical game I’ve seen yet.”It was the first overtime of the season for the Tigers, but not for the visiting Terrors. Palmer lost to Machbeuf 3-2 in overtime Thursday after blowing a 2-0 lead. Palmer coach Bob Davidson wasn’t surprised by the physical nature of the game.
“I knew (Summit) would beat us around,” Davidson said. “That was a good old fashioned game. Summit had to give us everything they had to win.”Summit and Palmer go at it again Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Palmer.”We’ll be ready for ’em,” Davidson guaranteed.Andy Frame can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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