The Bonneville Lakers made the long trip down to Riverton Thursday to take on the Silverwolves. And, while the Lakers looked like they were going to run away with it early, they’d leave disappointed, dropping a 12-7 decision after a strong start.
The first quarter started off with a bang for Bonneville Junior Attackmen Jared Johnson, sneaking from behind the cage twice to net two early goals and put the Lakers up 2-0. The next several minutes saw the ball on the ground a lot between the boxes with several failed clears from both teams. The stalemate continued as both defenses played tough, including a powerful yardsale check from a Riverton longpole. The momentum finally started to swing again when Bonneville’s Grayson Moyes snuck behind the Silverwolves defense and caught a quick feed for the goal. Riverton was plagued with procedure violations at the face-off X giving them few offensive opportunities and they continued to struggle late in the quarter. While Riverton had a couple good looks, they failed to put any shots on cage and Bonneville grabbed another goal late to push their lead to four by the end of the first.
In the second quarter, the Silverwolves started to find their groove. Riverton Goalie Chad Wood found a streaking middie on a long outlet pass who sprinted unguarded to score the Purple and Silver’s first goal of the game. On the ensuing Riverton possession, Bonneville Goalie Bryce Williams chased a shot behind the cage, but Riverton Midfielder Braden Ellingson tracked it down before it went out and slung it to an open Zach Tueller who buried it in the back of the empty net. Bonneville then grabbed a clean-up goal on a loose ball in front of the Riverton cage, but it wasn’t enough to slow the Silverwolves’ roll. Riverton middie Jared Mohney used great vision to get a long assist to teammate Braden Ellingson off a quick restart. Mohney would finish the game with three more assists and a goal and was the focus of head coach Benny Lock’s post-game praise: “We just moved him from attack to middie last week and he’s been great. He has so much hustle, he’s the most tenacious player.”
Riverton also started to hit their stride at the face-off X, which paid dividends at the offensive end. On the ensuing Riverton possession, attackmen Zach Tueller caught a pass near the top of the box and sent an absolute rocket towards the cage. The shot ricocheted off the keeper and into the net for the goal. A minute later, Tueller scored again on a man-up situation from a Bonneville slash, completing a hat trick in the second quarter alone. Riverton scored one more goal late with a feed to the doorstep to cap off a four-goal run and go into the half up 6-5.
The third quarter started slow, with both teams playing stout defense. After several minutes of back-and-forth, Riverton’s Adam Case caught a pass on the wing near the cage and finished strong. On the next possession, Case picked up a loose ball in front of the cage and finished, pushing the Riverton lead to three. Bonneville got the next possession off the face-off, but was unsuccessful on their shot attempt. Riverton’s Jared Mohney would scoop the loose ball in the defensive end and take it coast-to-coast,
swelling the Riverton lead, 9-5, halfway through the third quarter. The Silverwolves then had another great look on the doorstep, but Bonneville keeper Bryce Williams made a spectacular save low and made a terrific outlet pass to start a fast break that ended in a Grayson Moyes’ goal. Not to be outdone, Riverton’s goalie made great back-to-back saves of his own, but Riverton couldn’t get a stick on the rebounds and Laker attack Jared Johnson scored, capping the hat trick. After some more good defense
on both ends, Silverwolf middie Braden Ellingson scooped a loose ball in front of the net and tossed in a nifty behind-the-back goal to finish out the quarter, putting his team up 10-7.
Bonneville pushed hard in the fourth quarter, but Riverton was well into the flow of the game and held possession for long stretches, making it hard to mount a comeback. The Laker defense had to get more physical to try and knock the ball loose to regain possession, which led to some chippy play from both teams, culminating in a Bonneville player’s helmet getting knocked clean off and a slash on the Lakers shortly after. Riverton would score on the following man-up and bury another goal late in garbage time
to seal the 12-7 victory.
Winning coach Benny Lock’s thoughts on the slow start and why his team won the game: “[My players] revert back to old habits when they get nervous. We just had to settle down. We played as a team for the first time all season. [Senior Middie] Braden Ellingson showed great leadership today. He really stayed the course.”
Bonneville (0-4, 0-0) will have some time to assess the damage before taking on Timpanogos on March 21, and Riverton (1-2, 0-0) will face Pocatello on March 23.