This time of year, with playoffs just around the corner, it’s ‘do or die’ for teams. On April 25, the Jordan Beetdiggers “did” and the Bingham Miners “died”. Bingham has struggled all year to play four full quarters, and unfortunately for them, today’s game was no different. With Veteran Varsity goalie Scott Bronson back in the cage after being out with an injury for most of the season, the Miners came out with a different attitude. They started the game strong with tough defense and hustle not typical of their previous first quarters. Junior midfielder Talen Little marched through Jordan’s defense scoring between the legs of junior Goalie Jared Rigby. Jordan wasn’t intimidated and answered quickly with a left to right shot from sophomore middie Jace Babka sneaking it by the Miners’ goalie Scott Bronson. Jordan scored again when senior attackman Zach Pierce took an assist from a Beetdigger long-poler and ripped one in. Bingham didn’t cave. Senior attackman Aaron Crane pushed the ball, made one attempt, grabbed his own rebound, and put it the back of the net to end the quarter. The score was two-two at the end of the first period.
Jordan came out quick in the second quarter. Senior attackman Shaylor Sylvester caught the Miners’ defense sleeping and got his first goal. Sylvester followed it a short time later with a smooth overhead lefty making the score 4 to 2. But Bingham kept pushing and took advantage of some sloppy defensive work by Jordan. Senior attackman Nick Jenson found the twine with a powerful left hand shot from way out. There was cautious excitement from the Bingham crowd sensing a different attitude from their team. As Jordan continued to press, Bingham pushed back. The rest of the second quarter was all defense with brilliant saves by both goalies. At half time the score was 4 to 3 for Jordan.
Bingham came out of halftime determined to make this a game. Senior attackman Landon Spencer surprised Rigby with a quick stick shot. Later junior midfielder Ricky Griffin, like a bull in a china shop, pushed his way through Beetdigger defensive traffic and scored unassisted. The Miners continued with tough defense from sophomore Zach Meisenbacher, junior long pole Jake Saenz, and seasoned senior defenseman Andrew Gwilliam. Bingham held Jordan scoreless in the third and ended the quarter with a narrow one shot lead, 5 to 4. Bingham fans were believers, but Jordan wasn’t giving up just yet.
In past games, Bingham’s Achilles’ heal has been the first quarter leaving the team with huge deficits to overcome. In this game, the fourth quarter was their nemesis. The Beetdiggers started a run after a botched clear put the Miners’ defense in a bad position, and Pierce took advantage with a quick goal. Bingham fought hard, but a penalty allowed Jordan a man-up situation and Babka scored from the left. Frustrations mounted and another man-up situation allowed Pierce his third goal and then Jordan had a few minutes of excellent ball movement that resulted in Pierce’s fourth goal. Jordan ended its’ run when senior attackman Calvin Bennion faked Bronson and then scored from the left. Suddenly Bingham was in familiar territory with a big hole to dig out of, down 9 to 5. The Miners dug deep and started a run of their own. Sophomore attackman Matt Anderson started the run scoring after face off middie senior Shawn McCleve gave them a critical faceoff win. Jordan’s defense faltered committing a penalty that allowed Jenson to add a goal on man-up. Jordan fouled again and Bingham capitalized with another man-up goal by sophomore lefty Joe Lambert. There was two minutes left, plenty of time, but Jordan stepped up their defense causing costly turnovers for the Miners. Alas, again for Bingham it was too little, too late. Time ran out before they could even the score and they fell to the Beetdiggers 8-9.
Bingham Head Coach Marshall Kay stated, “We played really well for nine-tenths of the game, but we gave up a little run and it cost us the game by one. I’m proud we responded. After the run we buckled down, and didn’t give up another goal.”
Jordan Head Coach Noah Hollander commented, “We got the ‘W’ and we were really looking for it. It was a pretty sloppy game but there were some good parts and a few things we can fix. I’m excited we walked out with the ‘W’.”
Bingham takes on Copper Hills Tuesday, April 30 for its last shot at a playoff spot. Jordan meets Davis on April 29 for its last regular season game.