Utah High School Hockey Needs Third Game To Determine D1 State Champion
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – For Utah High School Hockey, it has been a season of close games.
“Division 1 has been really evenly matched this season,” Farmington hockey parent Dave Coover said, “Most of the games I’ve seen have been one-goal games. It’s been intense to watch.”
It makes sense that the playoffs would be the same.
Park City had the number one seed going into the playoffs but suffered a shoot-out loss to Farmington who then had to win their way to the championship from the loser’s bracket.
Farmington has played three playoff games and they have all gone into overtime. They beat Herriman and then Park City, then with a chance to win the championship they lost a 0-0 game after 3 overtime periods and a shootout to Park City, setting up Friday night’s winner take all game between Park City and Farmington.
Utah High School Hockey has a unique playoff system, you can lose a game, get dropped into the loser’s bracket and then play your way back into the championship but you have to beat the undefeated team twice.
“In our loss, we dug ourselves a hole with penalty minutes,” Park City Head Coach Josh Angevine said, “This team’s strength is the way we’ve gelled. We have a “No Passengers” motto because we have depth in all lines.”
Park City’s goalie Colten Mcintyre has been one best goaltenders in the state all season. Posting a 95 percent save percentage and going unbeaten in regulation in both the regular season and playoffs.
“Hands down, the best goalie in the state,” Coach Angevine continues, “His calmness just helps everyone else stay focused.”
Farmington’s goalie Jaxson Williams has been more a story about development and peaking at the right time. His regular-season numbers were not great with an 87 percent, but in the playoffs, he should be in the running for MVP and has brought his save percentage to almost 92 percent.
Park City will lean on the team’s only senior, Tyler Fisher for leadership and experience.
“When things get difficult, his is the first voice to keep things positive, he’s basically part of the coaching staff,” Angevine said.
Teams have done a good job shutting down Sam Anderson, Farmington’s leading scorer during the regular season with 16 goals and 9 assists in 14 games. In the 3 playoff games, Anderson has only managed one assist but opens the ice for his teammates.
“I like how our team is playing right now,” senior Jake Coover stated, “I am looking forward to Jaxson making some huge saves and keeping our spirits up.”
Angevine is expecting both teams to come out ready.
“Our goal is to get on the board in regulation and end this thing, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it went to OT,” he said.
Utah High School Hockey has done an amazing job at making sure that there was a hockey season this year. We get to sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labor with what could be one of the best series in the league’s history.
The state championship battle between the Park City Miners and the Farmington Phoenix is Friday, February 26 at 9 pm at the Ice Sheet in Ogden.
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