The No. 1 Brighton Bengals used a strong fourth quarter to pull away from the Park City Miners in a hard fought game against two top ten teams on a cold rainy night in Salt Lake. While the contest was close for much of the evening, the Bengals were able to string things together late and come up with the 12-8 victory. The four-point victory is Brighton’s slimmest in in-state play this season.
Both teams started out slow on offense — each team dropping a number of passes, likely due to trying to get used to the rainy conditions. The defenses for both teams played great during the first quarter, each team only allowing one goal. Brighton started it off with their first long possession of the game when star Bubba Fairman ran the ball up around to the top of the box from X and noticed the defense cheating towards him in anticipation of him driving and scoring. Fairman drove hard down the right side, Park City sent a slide to double-team, and as the rest of the defense cheated towards him, he sent a pass into Hunter Albert on crease who slipped a shot in past the goalie. Soon after that, PC’s Jacob Tychsen was able to scoop up a deflection off of Brighton’s goalies stick from a hard top side shot, he curled around the back side of the goal while Brighton’s defense and Goalie were still trying to locate the ball, and by the time they found Tychsen, it was too late as he was already in position to shoot and zipped the shot in past the keeper.
In the second quarter both teams’ offenses started to clean up the mistakes from the first quarter and were able to have good offensive possessions. Both teams defense’s had played great throughout the first half, allowing mostly contested shots that their goalies had been able to save. They went into halftime Brighton leading 4-3.
The second half started off with Dylan Pearmain driving and dodging from up top through multiple defenders, fighting off a hold, and finishing from just above the crease to get Brighton started. Soon after, Park City had a failure to advance while the ball was about 20 yards above the goal with few defenders around — Park City’s defender dropped the ball and Brighton wisely scooped it up quickly to push for a quick restart, and were quickly able to take advantage of an unsettled Park City defense, and Isaiah Avalos scored. Zack Danninger responded for the Miners with a quick goal from crease to pull within two. Then Miner Jacob Tychsen is able to sprint up from around the back of the crease from X draw a slide and attention and feed it to Aiden Christensen for a quick rip to pull within one at the end of the third quarter.
With the score 6-5 in favor of Brighton going into the fourth quarter, the Brighton fans began expressing a nervousness that they had not felt very often this season as most games had been well in hand for them at this point. From here on out though, Brighton showed why many people in the state believe they are the best and the favorite to win the championship. Two quick goals, one from Tennison Schmidt and the other from Dylan Pearmain, began what ended up being a quarter Brighton won handily — six goals to three. Big games and saves from both goalies, Connor French of Park City and Canyon Curtis of Brighton, kept their teams in it, but Brighton had too much firepower down the stretch. The contest was capped off with two goals from Brighton’s long stick middie Bryson Taylor — one in which he wrapped around the back end of the goal and ripped a bounce shot past the goalie, and the other which was
assisted by Bubba Fairman from the top of the box. Brighton ended up pulling out the win, 12-8.
Taylor on his two goals “It was a close game, I knew my team needed to be pumped up. I saw the opportunities and took advantage.” Brighton Coach Brandon Horoba on how his team has managed being heavy favorites all year “We have a great group of seniors leading this team. They help keep everyone focused on what we need to do.”
Park City plays Olympus in Park city on Friday for their next game; Brighton closes out their regular season on Friday night against a top 5 contender in Corner Canyon in what should be a fun game and potential playoff preview.