The Logan Grizzlies and Copper Hills Grizzlies met for the first time this season in the UHSLL Class B championship on a drizzly afternoon at Corner Canyon’s Charger Stadium. The match-up was a physical one with surprisingly crisp passes in settled situations despite the rain. LHS was able to build an early lead, gaining lots of possession time off faceoffs, and used a fourth-quarter Jorden Hansen hat trick to hold off Copper Hills and grab the championship, 10-7, their first since 2006.
Aside from Hansen, Logan’s other big contributors were attackman Brandon Dodd who finished the game with 4 goals and midfielder Hunter Horsely who won a majority of draws at the faceoff X. Keaton Stephens was the offensive star for Copper Hills with a hat trick on the day.
“It feels great,” said Logan first-year head coach Clay Christoffersen, “Not only am I happy, but I’m happy for our players who put in all the hard work this year and our assistant coaches who really wanted this. We started the year with the theme ‘all in’…we stayed true to that through the whole season and it’s truly a group win.”
Copper Hills struck first on their opening possession when attackman Tanner Skadburg got one past the Logan keeper. But LHS responded quickly with a Kian Ben-Jacob goal on a split dodge to score. Each team then saw a couple possessions but Logan would score again at the 5:49 mark when Dodd caught and finished off a faceoff fast break. Four minutes later Dodd would score again when he caught his own rebound off a shot and finished on the doorstep, closing out the first quarter with LHS leading 3-1.
The second quarter started with missed passes and broken transition, with neither team able to get a foothold and establish a good possession. Logan’s Dodd was finally able to capitalize when he got the ball at X behind the cage and got a step above goal-line extended, faked, and scored. The goal was the beginning of a four-goal run for Logan with the consequent goals from Horsley, Dodd, and attackman Rio Thomas. But CHHS showed why they were in the championship game and pushed back late in the half; Stephens sent the high heat low-to-low with just under two minutes to play and midfielder Leroy Sandberg scooped a loose ball on the edge of the crease and scored with just two second remaining to narrow the gap to 7-3, Logan leading at the half.
Both teams got good looks on the cage early in the third, but each keeper, Logan’s Bryan Hamblin and Copper Hills’ Daniel Bell, made great saves to keep the ball out of the back of the net. CHHS finally snuck one by with a Zach Geigle catch-and-finish on the doorstep, a goal that would end up being the only of a quarter filled with long, fruitless possessions for both sides, Logan’s lead shrinking by one, 7-4.
Early penalties by LHS allowed a man-up goal for Copper Hills when attackman Zach Park found Stephens on the crease for the quick tally. The rest of the quarter would be back-and-forth, Logan’s Hansen responding to each goal from Copper Hills and keeping LHS out of reach and completing the hat trick in the fourth quarter alone and preserving the championship victory, 10-7.
“The players bought in to what we were trying to teach them,” reflected Coach Christoffersen on the season, “it really started to come together halfway through the season…you want to peak at the right time when it’s playoff time and you’ve got a chance to win a championship and we were able to do that.”
This is Logan’s second championship in program history.