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Grizzlies Too Much For Knights

Copper Hills - Northridge

The Copper Hills Grizzlies and Northridge Knights faced off in a game that was sure to bring the fireworks between two Div-II contenders. What resulted was a physical contest where Copper Hills showed their depth and athleticism, outhustling Northridge and using a suffocating ride to run away with the game in the second half, 16-7.
“They were coming off a couple good games,” said Copper Hills senior Sam Taylor, “We came out strong; it was a tight game. Finally, second half we just picked it up and got a couple goals on them.”
Both offenses came out fired-up, trading goals back-and-forth which ended in a Kaden Hopper creep from X and score for the Knights, assisted by Jordan Fisher. After some transition and physical play on both sides, the Grizzlies netted two when senior Daxton Sloan found fellow senior Jacob Willden cutting for the easy score, followed by senior defender Carson Davis causing a turnover and taking it coast-to-coast for the finish. Northridge responded with a two-goal run of their own when Hopper finished off a fast break and Fisher bounced a hard shot to the top corner from the high wing, ending the first quarter knotted up at 4-4.
Copper Hills - Northridge
The second quarter saw more of the same close, physical play. After some failed transition and penalties, Copper Hills grabbed the lead off a Leroy Sandberg split dodge and rip from the top. Minutes later, a ball-down situation led to Grizzly attack Sam Taylor scooping and firing an off-hip shot that found the back of the net. Northridge quickly closed the gap, though, as Fisher swept across the top of the box, drawing the defense, and found sophomore Hunter Wilson waiting on the doorstep for the easy score. A pair of Copper Hills slashes would give the Knights an excellent opportunity to even things up, but the Grizzly man-down defense played staunchly and kept the ball out of the net. With only two minutes left in the quarter, it looked like Northridge would go into the break down one, but Copper Hills had other plans: Wilden got topside on his defender on the wing and scored, and in the final minute Taylor grabbed a pair of goals when the defense overplayed him and he stepped in for two more tallies, one as time expired in the half, the Grizzlies up 9-5.
“My goal right before the half,” mused Taylor, “I thought that was a game changer.”
The run to end the half would give Copper Hills all the momentum going into the second half, and it was evident that “Uncle Mo” was on their side. Despite the Knights’ best effort, the tough Grizzly D shut them out in the third quarter. Copper Hills grabbed a quick goal when Willden caught a pass from Taylor on the wing and fired it home. The Grizzlies picked up the next possession and took several shots that went wide and several more that were saved, but they were able to grab the rebounds and chew up valuable minutes of the third quarter.  Copper Hills also used an athletic ride to keep the ball on their offensive end, stifling the Northridge clear. Taylor was able to net a goal with another dodge from the top, extending the Grizzly lead to 11-5.  A pair of Copper Hills penalties near the end of the quarter gave Northridge a great opportunity to close the gap, but the Knights’ man-up efforts would again come up fruitless.
The fourth quarter picked up where the third left off, with a pair of goals coming quickly from Copper Hills sophomore Tanner Skadburg. A great spinning backhander would give the Grizzlies another score, putting them comfortably ahead, 14-5.  Knight goals from Hopper and River Schneck would come too little, too late for Northridge, who suffered their second loss of the season.
“The last couple games we’ve been off a quarter-on a quarter,” said Taylor, who finished the game with six goals, “This game I felt like we went all four quarters and finished at the end with a lot of energy.”
The Knights will look to get back to their winning ways as they travel to Div-IIAA opponent West tomorrow, Wednesday, April 9 at 4:30 pm and Copper Hills will test their mettle at a tough East squad this Thursday, April 10, at 5:30 pm.

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