Grizzly Hockey Scores Fifth Place Finish
Mar 20, 2015 12:21PM
● By Greg James
The Grizzlies lost in a blowout 35-1 in an exhibition game against a group of special needs students. Jason Simms, the team’s trustee, called it the best loss ever. Photo courtesy of Brock Roberts
The Copper Hills Grizzly hockey team had high expectations entering the 2014-2015 season. The team’s fifth place regular season finish and playoff victory cemented it as one of the best in the school’s history.
“I think we were expecting to do better, but we had a great season. Our team had great communication, good chemistry and were a tight group of players,” junior goalkeeper Brock Roberts said.
The Grizzly hockey program includes varsity and junior varsity teams. The varsity team finished the season with an 8-2-1 record. They won their first five games before a 3-3 tie to the Salt Lake Stars on Nov. 24. Their only losses came to UCI North 5-4 and 11-3 to Park City.
Senior Jesse Miles led the Grizzlies with 22 goals. Reed Hunter, also a senior, had 15.
“I think we had a great shot at winning the state title, but because of a scheduling conflict, a few of our players were out of town at a travel league tournament. We lost in the second round, so that was a terrible way to end my high school hockey experience,” Hunter said.
The Grizzlies beat Bingham 5-0 in the first round of the state playoffs. Trevor Hamilton had two goals, Tanner Van Amen, Josiah Vergara and Hunter scored the other three. Sophomore goalkeeper Tyler Kesten stopped all 15 shots against him for the shut out.
They lost in the second game of the playoffs to Uintah 6-2. They fell behind early 3-0, but they got goals from Miles and Vergara. In their final game of the playoffs, they fell 2-1 to Brighton.
“We had some really good offensive players that had played together for a long time. Our chemistry was very good,” Hunter said.
Kesten and Roberts shared the goalkeeping responsibilities. Combined, they held opponents to 2.8 goals per game and saved 83 percent of the shots against them.
“We had two good goalies and some teams do not have one. Hockey is hard to describe. It is a cool feeling to step on the ice; it puts you in a new realm from the outside world,” Roberts said.
The Grizzlies play in the Utah high school varsity south division. They placed fifth in the regular season behind Park City, Uintah, UCI North and Salt Lake Stars. The other teams in their division are UCI South, Corner Canyon, Herriman, Hunter, Bingham, Wasatch and Riverton.