The Woodland Park High School hockey team skated to a 5-5 tie against Apex Conference foe Coronado Feb. 6 at Sertich Ice Center.
Panthers junior Parker Taranto had three assists, while Lou Levy tallied two to push his team-leading total to 21.
Five different Panthers scored goals: Owen Gaul, Mikael Romero, Trace Taranto, Caleb Rockenbach and Colton Hudson.
The tie was the first in Woodland Park history and left the Panthers with a 5-10-1 record.
Woodland Park led 4-3 at the end of a wild first period of play. The Panthers were held scoreless in the second. Hudson’s goal came about a minute into the third period to give Woodland Park a 5-4 lead. Neither team scored in overtime.
Woodland Park wraps up its season on Saturday with a game at Colorado Academy.
“We’ve played some good periods this year, and then we kind of run out of gas,” said Woodland Park coach Chad Mason. “We just don’t have the depth.”
Woodland Park’s victories came against three teams: Liberty (twice), Palmer (twice) and Air Academy. The Panthers are 29th in the RPI standings. The top 24 teams advance to the postseason.
Woodland Park was 1-17 as a first-year program last winter.
“We improved in a lot of areas this season,” Mason said. “We had a strong first and second line, but we were thin after that. That made it tough to compete against the stronger teams.”
The future looks bright for the Panthers. Levy is one of only a handful of seniors on the team. Most of the big scorers are set to return: sophomores Trace Taranto (22 goals, 13 assists), Parker Taranto (6, 11) and Mikael Romero (9, 3).
One of the best games the Panthers played this season, according to Mason, was against Doherty (13-0-2, ranked 10th in the state) on Jan 31. Woodland Park lost 9-2, but was up 2-1 midway through the first period on Parker Taranto and Trace Taranto goals. The score was tied 2-2 at the end of the first 17-minute stanza.
“Doherty was running four lines and we just couldn’t keep up,” Mason said.
Several Woodland Park hockey players will transition to baseball at season’s end, including Levy, Trace Taranto and goalie Garrett Richardson.