Valley controlled the first quarter and a portion of the second, scoring three goals to take the 3-0 advantage. The Cougars finally broke through in the second, when attackman Corey Phipps fed Gunnar Howes for the strike, prompting a “he’s just a freshman” chant from the HK student body. Indeed he is, but he didn’t play like one. A minute later Alex Phipps facilitated things, feeding a waiting Nolan Braren above the crease, who buried the shot. Valley still led 3-2 at the half, but momentum was turning.
In the third quarter HK blew things open. The defense played with the tenacity and aggressiveness they’ve used all year, and the offense fired on all cylinders. In the first minute of the third, A. Phipps tied things up with a dodge down the left alley and strike, 3-3. Keeping it in the family, C. Phipps shimmied above the right post and found net, 4-3 HK advantage. Valley answered a few minutes later to knot things 4-4, but from that point forward it was all HK. All Valley could do was watch.
Early in the fourth quarter, during a man-down situation, d-pole Sam Young forced a turnover and sprinted up field, feeding C. Phipps, who then found Howes on the doorstep for the strike, 9-4 HK. Valley got one back with six minutes left in the game, but any notion of a comeback was smothered soon after when Cougars utility man Nathan Kelly, who played three different positions on the day, banged one in from above the left post, 10-5 HK. Championship game next.