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Tigers are sick about hockey

Richard Chittick
Summit Daily/Reid WilliamsSummit High School hockey coach Jake Quigley gives the team a pre-game pep talk before their scrimmage versus Steamboat Springs at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge Saturday.
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BRECKENRIDGE – It’s no secret – this year’s strain of the flu is laying waste to the entire county.

And the Summit High School varsity hockey team is no exception.

It got so bad that at one point last week, head coach Jake Quigley found himself holding a practice with only nine of his players.

“We haven’t had any time to do any team building because we’ve all been sick,” Quigley said.

But the enthusiasm is there, as senior Hawk Wathen showed up for Saturday’s scrimmage against Steamboat Springs eager to play despite suffering from the vicious strain of influenza that has shut entire schools down in other parts of Colorado.

Quigley wouldn’t let Wathen play, but he sees where this energy is coming from.

“We’ve got a lot of spirit and we’ve got a lot of heart,” Quigley said.

The Tigers dropped the scrimmage 7-3 to the much faster Steamboat Springs team.

It was played at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena.

“We’re in a young rebuilding year. We have a lot of learning to do,” Quigley said afterwards. “We need to learn from each and every game.”

Now that the team is starting to get healthy, though, he knows what to work on, telling the players that the very next practice they will be working on discipline and zone coverage.

Much of the scrimmage panned out on power plays as the young players adjusted to keeping their elbows and sticks down.

Matching minors for a cross-check followed by an elbow were handed out several times.

The prettiest of Summit’s three goals came from sophomore Mike Hammer.

After squaring up on the point, his shot through traffic from the blue line beat the Steamboat goaltender.

The goal came on a 5-on-3 Tigers’ powerplay to tie the game at 2-2.

The Tigers first goal came from senior Michael Morgan when he punched a rebound in off of a shot by senior Jeff Noble.

Their third goal came from Noble when he pulled up in front of the net and waited for a pass, which he shot over the Sailors’ netminder.

And while starting goaltender, freshman Seth Wickman, let seven pucks through on Saturday afternoon, Quigley has the utmost confidence in him.

“He’s put a lot of effort in,” Quigley said, noting that Wickman has played club for the last few seasons.

“He wants to bring everything he can to the team.”

Without being able to see very many full practices, Quigley held back on establishing any long term goals for the team as of Saturday, but is confident about the short term.

“This is a team that has a lot of potential,” he said. “I’m excited about my younger guys; and if we can come together with team chemistry, we’re going to do well. We’re excited and looking forward to the season.”

Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at rchittick@summitdaily.com.


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