Summit gets biggest win of year
BRECKENRIDGE – You could hear the hands slap across the rink.High-fives like the one exchanged by first-year head coach Bryan Smith and assistant Bobby Doré can only mean one thing: exaltation. In this case, the gesture represented the highest point of the Summit High School hockey team’s season, a 5-4 win over touted Steamboat Friday night at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena.Summit’s victory not only tied the school record for wins (six), but it gave the Tigers hope going into this morning’s regular-season finale that the playoffs are still a possibility.
“That’s a 12-4 hockey club right there,” Smith said of the Sailors, who beat SHS 5-2 in the season opener. “They’re definitely one of the better teams in the state. … This is just an awesome win for us.”The Tigers had come up just short against so many top opponents this year, it figured at least one had to go their way. Friday, a pair of seniors playing in their last home game led the way.Chase Underbrink set the tone with the game’s first goal less than two minutes into the opening period, then later added the game-winner with 2:08 to go in the second period. Billy Barto, the team’s most consistent player all season, added a goal and two assists.”It was our last day in this barn,” said Underbrink, who also had an assist. “We wanted to go out with a bang.”
Sophomore Nick Springer stopped three breakaways in net, and did just enough the rest of the time to hold off Steamboat, which dropped to 12-5 with the loss. Summit improved to 6-12 and has a chance to set a new school high for wins today at 10:45 a.m. against Palmer.”We’re finally starting to play as a team,” Underbrink said, “and we’re finally starting to believe and have some emotion out there.””I’m telling you, this group of kids that I have right here could possibly get into the playoffs and stir things up if they want to,” Smith said.Underbrink’s early goal was followed by Barto’s tally before the Sailors got on the board late in the first period. Tommy Moles and Scott Noble scored two more Summit goals in the second period, sandwiching a Steamboat tally in between. Then the Sailors added a pair 26 seconds apart as the period was winding down, making it an even half-dozen in the 15 minutes of play.
Springer and the Summit defense did what they had to in the final period, though, holding Steamboat scoreless and clinching the victory.”These kids were warriors tonight,” Smith said of his team. “They just battled harder and harder and harder every shift. They just didn’t stop.”Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13630, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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