From the first quarter down to literally the last seconds of the game the Riverton Silverwolves and the Pleasant Grove Vikings played an intense game. It was a game with several runs and lead changes. Pleasant Grove owned the lead for much of the game, lost it near the end, but tied the game to end the fourth. They scored the golden goal in overtime to win. The Vikings won by a score of 12-11.
Speaking about the importance of winning this game, Vikings Head Coach Brae Burbidge said, “For us it’s huge. It’s our first conference game in a really tough conference. We have Lone Peak who is undefeated. Timpanogos is a pretty good team. Then Riverton and us. So, if we didn’t win this, there was a really good chance we weren’t making playoffs. This was huge for us. Huge.”
The game began at a fairly medium pace. Both teams were working the ball comfortably for a time, getting warmed up for what was to come. Pleasant Grove started of the scoring we three consecutive goals. Riverton answered back with three goals of their own to tie it up at the end of the first.
Beginning in the second quarter, Pleasant Grove stepped their game up a notch. They started to control the ball more than their opponent and they were creating the right shooting opportunities. The Vikings outscored the Silverwolves 4-1 in the second.
Going into the second half, it seemed like a close enough game that anything could happen. However, Pleasant Grove continued scoring through the beginning of the third. They had gained a six-point lead and it seemed like they were going to run away with this game. Riverton had other plans.
Nearing the end of the third, Riverton began to find the back of the goal. Starting with a man-up goal, Riverton scored four straight goals to end the third. They had closed the gap a bit. Pleasant Grove was ahead 10-8 going into the fourth.
Riverton’s run did not end there. Silverwolf attackman Zac Tueller and midfielder Adam Case, who had already been playing well throughout the game, stepped up big in the fourth. Tueller scored the first goal of the quarter. After several failed attempts to score again, the Silverwolves called a timeout. Whatever they discussed must have worked because Case was immediately able to score, assisted by Tueller. The game was tied with just a few minutes left.
As the clock wound down near the end of the game, Riverton was finally able to take their first lead of the game when Tueller again fed Case for another goal. Fans and players were ecstatic, and with good reason. Riverton had only one thing left to do – keep the ball out of the hands of their opponent.
Pleasant Grove’s offense was able to get the ball. With under a minute, the Vikings worked the ball and set up a perfect play. However, Riverton goalie Chad Wood made an amazing save to keep his team ahead. Possibly thinking that there was not much time left on the clock, Wood tossed the ball down to the other end of the field just to run the clock to nothing. It was quickly picked up by Viking goalie Caden Neider who attempted to get the ball back down to his offense. In doing so, Neider drew a crucial penalty with just seconds left in the game.
Down by one, and in a man-up situation, the pressure was on for the Vikings. Again, they set up and made the right moves. Vikings’ star midfielder Chad Madsen took control of the ball, drove it in and was able to tie up the game with just two seconds left in regulation time.
“Zach Burbidge and Chad Madsen stood out to me today,” said Coach Burbidge. “Chad put us back into the game with that goal with 2 seconds left. He had a ton of assists. He was relentless.”
The overtime period was short and sweet. Pleasant Grove won the face-off and set up yet another great offensive play. Attackman Spencer Merrifield fed the ball to attackman Samuel Anderson for the game-winning golden goal. The Vikings had pulled through and traveled home with a 12-11 win.
Burbidge continued, “The problem that we have had all season is that we are fluctuating up and down. I think we were up by five and we end up winning on a golden goal. We got lucky. We put two goals in in 30 seconds.”
Riverton is set to take on Copper Hills on April 22nd. Like Riverton, Copper Hills has had a rough season so both teams have a lot to fight for. Pleasant Grove will next play undefeated Lone Peak in yet another important conference game on Thursday.