Grizzlies win state hockey title
Mar 02, 2018 02:23PM
● By Greg James
Copper Hills lines up for a face off in its 9-6 state title victory. (Greg James/City Journals)
By Greg James | [email protected]
The pressure of an undefeated season weighed on the minds of the Copper Hills hockey team as they entered their state championship game. They overcame their internal stress to capture the victory.
“It feels pretty awesome to be a senior and go out on top,” forward Kyle Van Leeuwen said. “We felt confident going in (before the game.) We knew Bingham would give us a good fight. We battled really hard and came out with the win.”
The Grizzlies defeated Bingham 9-6 in the finals contest. This was their second victory over the Miners in the playoffs. They finished the regular season with 14 wins, no losses and one tie.
The championship game see-sawed back in forth the first two periods. Bingham scored the initial goal of the game, but Van Leeuwen chipped in a shot just 30 seconds later to tie it at one. The game continued with each team leading for short periods of time only to give up the tying goal seconds later. After two periods the Grizzlies held on to a narrow 6-5 lead.
“They deserve it, this is a great bunch of kids and they worked hard all season,” first year Grizzly head coach Dave Pitcher said. “I knew it would be a tough game. In the second intermission we talked about our systems and playing our game.”
The Grizzlies Tanner Walker finished with three goals, Van Leeuwen had two and Donhnavon Jacobson score two more.