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East Jumps Out to Early Lead, Cruises past Herriman

Zac Efron would have broken out in song and dance after watching East soundly defeat Herriman in the first round of the playoffs on Tuesday. With strong defense backed by great goalie play, and using long, precise possessions on offense, they were able to dominate time of possession and handily defeated a Herriman squad who had very recently defeated the #1 seed in the B bracket–Bingham.
East got things started with a great play by attackman Gabriel Goorman who crept up from X, evaluating the Herriman defense, and then acted as if he was going to drive up–drawing the attention of the defense–and instead fed Lucas Idstrom open on crease who was able to finish. Soon after, Idstrom received a pass while set on the left side, his defender ran out on him, he threw a little fake, went right past him, and had an open look top side against the goalie and bounced it in past him to put East up 2-0. Andrew Wilkinson was then able to get a step on his defender and finish off the quarter for East with a shot bounced in off the post to put them up 3-0.
East’s offense slowed down a bit in the second quarter until the end when, following a timeout, they were able to put together a crisp passing possession that led to Jack Rutter finding Jed Fuller at the top of the box, who sent a hard shot in past the keeper. Multiple big saves by East goalie Dalton Hoopes along with extremely tough set and transition defense led to East taking a shutout into halftime. Herriman started out the first half with a very long possession that ended with another fantastic save by Hoopes, and then was turned into a quick transition goal for East when Andrew Wilkinson found Gabriel Goorman open on crease and zipped a shot in to put East up 5-0. Soon after, Herriman’s Brody Stevenett was able to slip a shot in from crease past Hoopes to get Herriman on the board. Jed Fuller then finished off the quarter catching a feed from Wilkinson on the crease to put East up 6-1 heading into the 4th. 4 more East goals–2 by Fuller, giving him 4 on the day–and 2 final goals by Herriman gave East the win, 10-3.
The ability to possess was crucial in the win for East. The catalyst for that was East faceoff middie Mikey Vetter who won 14 out of 18 faceoffs on the day, allowing East to maintain control of the ball. An East insider explained to me that Vetter gets his awesomeness from his father, Rusty Vetter, so some of the possession credit apparently goes to him as well.
East coach Ryan Cantwell on focus for this game: “For us the big thing for this game was to come in and play together, and support each other. We did that–they were flying around the field and having a good time and it showed.” On holding Herriman to only 3 goals: “Our goalie is a stud. We converted him from attack at the beginning of the year and he’s been huge.” On focus going forward in the playoffs: “It’s going to be about building on this momentum. Picking each other up and playing together like we did today. If we can keep that up, we can beat anyone.”
East will next play Bonneville in the Class-B quarterfinals.

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