Junior DI Championship
Park City 8 Juan Diego 6
The top 6 teams qualified for the playoffs this year. Juan Diego finished the season undefeated and as the #1 seed, followed by Brighton (#2), Park City (#3), Olympus (#4), Herriman (#5), and Bonneville (#6). In the first round Park City defeated Bonneville 15-3, and Olympus bounced Herriman 12-5. In the semi-finals Park City finally solved the Brighton mystique winning 14-11 in their third meeting of the year, and Juan Diego had to come from behind to defeat Olympus 11-8 to set up our Championship game.
Park City opened the scoring with a goal by JJ Pickard only to have Juan Diego answer right back by Chantz Hower. The teams would go back and forth with goals by PC Will Harrigan (assist Beau Pederson), JD Hower, PC Will McNamara (assist Pederson), and JD Ryan Baker. With the score tied at 3, Park City would score 4 of the 5 goals before the half to take a 7-4 lead. PC Matt O’Brien (assist McNamara), PC Matt Whipple (assist Harrigan), JD Baker, PC Pickard, and PC Ryan Smith (assist Pederson). Park City held a huge shot advantage in the first half but Juan Diego goalie Brendan Roberts came up big with 9 saves (15 for the game) to keep his team in the game. In the second half of the game PC opened the scoring with another goal by the converted defenseman Harrigan and then decided to slow the game down on offense. Juan Diego would get the final goal of the 3rd quarter by Shane Hertgen (assist Cole Owens) to go into the final period down by 3. In the 4th the Park City defense took over. Goalie Conner French made several point blank saves in the quarter (5 in the 2nd half, 6 saves total) and his defense did the rest. Josh Hales had a great day day and got big support from fellow defensemen Noah Meyer and Duncan Halsey. Sam Burbank scored the final goal of the game for JD but it was too little too late as Park City earned their 1st DI Junior Championship as the clock hit 0:00.
I caught up with the winning team and received the following quotes after the game.
PC Head Coach Mike Acee “Congratulations to the Juan Diego Junior boys for a very good season and a hard fought Championship game. Thank you to Jamie Meyer, Jerry French, the PCYLO board, and all the families involved, for their contributions to our Championship run. I’m very proud of our boys.”