A hungry and focused Brighton team traveled to Riverton on Friday night to take care of business before a showdown with Park City on Wednesday.
Brighton entered this game ranked No. 1 in the ULN Coaches Poll and their prolific offense and stifling defense was on display in full force against Riverton. Junior, Josh Nydegger, led the offense with five goals and four assists while goalies Canyon Curtis, Garrett Lazaro and Marcus Gundersen and a very determined defense held the Silverwolves to just five goals.
Brighton struck early as junior midfielder, Blake Yates, found a crafty Josh Nyddegger at the crease for an easy goal. A minute later, Carter Budge found Nydegger for his second score of the game. Nydegger would get a quick third goal on a transition pass from senior captain, Cole Moore and then MJ Cirillo found a cutting Karson McMillin to take a 4-0 lead. The Silverwolves settled down and junior, River Hansen, executed a roll dodge around the crease to perfection and put it past goalie, Canyon Curtis. Nydegger added two more goals to finish the first quarter assisted by Blake Yates and Carter Budge.
Bubba Nielsen took the opening draw and the ball was quickly fielded by junior, Scott Cook, who pushed the ball up the field to Nydegger who found sophomore, Carter Budge cutting across the front of the goal. Brighton led 8-1 at this point but Riverton’s, Weston Smith, took advantage of a defensive miscue and put the ball in the back of the net to give Riverton their second goal of the game. Brighton’s ball movement on offense continued to create easy opportunities for goals. Carter Budge, Easton McNeil and Owen Smith closed out the second quarter will goals to push Brighton’s lead to 12-3 heading into halftime.
Brighton’s face off team continued to flex their muscles at the X. Owen Hanks, Bubba Nielsen and Brecken Owens battled to win nearly sixty-five percent of the face offs. The wing play of MJ Cirillo, Cole Felis, Aiden Bruce and Scott Cook dominated the ground balls and pushed the ball to the offense for easy transition goals.
The second half continued to showcase why Brighton has one of the most potent offenses in the state. Junior, Blake Yates, intercepted a pass and immediately found Nydegger who makes the extra pass to McMillin to make it 13-3. Owen Smith added another goal on a nice pass from Nydegger. Smith nearly had his third of the evening but hit pipe and the rebound was picked up by senior, Cael Child, who put it back for the score. Sophomore, Elias Wismer, picked up his first varsity goal as he blew past the defense and ripped a deep bounce shot to extend Brighton’s lead to 16-3. Assisted by Cook and McMillin, Nydegger added two more goals to finish his career night.
Brighton’s ride was tenacious throughout the game making it difficult for the Silverwolves to run their offense. However, Riverton would find the back of the net two more times at the hands of their dynamic duo, River Hansen and Parker Smith, to make the score 18-5. Cael Child would put an exclamation point on this game streaking down the middle, dodging multiple Silverwolves to put it past the goalie for his second score of the game. Final score was 19-5.
Brighton will rest up and travel to Park City on Wednesday to avenge it’s loss in last year’s Class A Championship game.