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No. 3 Alta Advances to Semifinals Past No. 7 Jordan

Chase OviattThe No. 3 seeded Alta Hawks punched their ticket to the 2013 Boys D-I Semifinals on Saturday night after beating No. 7 seeded Jordan by the score of 17-7. As if a playoff game isn’t reason enough to get pumped up for a game, the Jordan v. Alta rivalry is one of the biggest in the state.
“It’s Jordan v. Alta in every sport, it’s a huge rivalry,” said Alta Head Coach Mark Davis.
The first half did not disappoint and felt like a true rivalry game. Alta jumped out to 4-0 lead in just 1 minute and 43 seconds, scoring on every possession and not letting Jordan clear. The scoring started when Cade Trudo scored off a feed from Kyle Baldassari who was hammered but still able to get the pass off. On the next possession, Tanner Brown was behind the goal, faked a pass to the wing and slipped past the defender for the easy on crease goal. Baldassari tallied a goal of his own with a huge time and room shot followed by a goal by Chase Oviatt who had a huge time and room shot himself.
Jordan scored their first goal of the game on a great play by Bradford Anderson. Alta followed up on a man-up opportunity at the 4:06 mark when Oviatt scooped up a rebound and slotted into the back of the net. Jordan hung tough and scored two minutes later Calvin Bennion was able to sneak the ball into the goal. Neither team scored in the remainder of the quarter, giving Alta a 5-2 lead after the first quarter.
Alta scored just 9 seconds into the second quarter when Oviatt won the face-off and led the fast break, finding Brown who then dished to LSM Garrett Bullet who stayed in the attack. Bullet ripped the ball into the back of the net, sending the Alta bench and fans into hysterics. Jordan didn’t let that phase them though. The Beetdiggers answered 34 seconds later when Anderson scored again for the visitors. Shaylor Sylvester scored a minute later for Jordan on a great iso effort from the wing to make the score 6-4 for Alta. Alta scored two more times midway through the quarter to extend their lead to 4 goals, but again, Jordan didn’t give, scoring at the 1:47 mark when Sylvester danced around the top of the box, looking for the Alta weakness. Once he saw an opening, he dodged and scored. With just 19 seconds left in the half, Jordan scored again to make the score 8-6 for Alta at halftime.
Alta Hawks Jordan Beetdiggers
The second half was dominated by Alta. Again the Hawks scored off the opening face-off. Oviatt quickly scooped the ball to himself and took it the distance. The Alta defense stepped up their game and suffocated the Jordan offense, not allowing any space for the Beetdiggers to operate. Alta piled on three more goals in the last 3 minutes of the quarter to take a 12-6 lead after the third. The fourth quarter saw more of the same out of Alta. Hawks Goalie Gammon Archer kept the score sheet clean after making three quick reaction saves while the Hawks were two and three men down. However, the Beetdiggers were finally able to penetrate the brick-wall in front of the goal at the 9:52 mark when Sylvester weaved through the defense for the goal. Alta closed out the game with 5 straight goals and the 17-7 victory.
“No one wants Alta to win so we use that as fuel,” said Davis. “Our guys were motivated and ready to show we belong. Our man-up was awesome. It was a spread out attack and we don’t have one guy that we have to lean on, all our guys can play. Our defense was awesome. Gammon played out of his mind in the second half.”
The Hawks were led by Oviatt who had 5 goals and helped the Hawks face-off line win 18 of 26 face-offs. Archer had 12 saves for the Hawks.
Alta will face No. 1 Juan Diego on Tuesday in the Semifinals in a rematch of the 2012 Boys D-I Championship game where Juan Diego won 9-8. The teams faced each other in early April with the Soaring Eagle taking a 7-6 win. In the 2012 regular season, Alta beat Juan Diego 10-9 in a 4 overtime affair. This will be the third straight semifinal for both teams.
“The last three times we’ve played Juan Diego it has been a one goal game either way,” said Davis. “You can’t beat that.”

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