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CPHL Game of the Week: Self-motivated Fort Collins exacts a bit of revenge with victory over Valor Christian

By Trevor Squire, SportsEngine, 10/05/20, 2:30PM MDT


Hub exclusive: Nolan Williamson scored twice and Sam Simon stopped 44 shots to help the Lambkins defeat the Eagles in a CHSAA state championship rematch.

Nolan Williamson scored twice to help left Fort Collins over Valor Christian 5-3 on Saturday in a CPHL showdown. Photo by Katie Hinkle, SportsEngine

Fort Collins has been itching to exact some revenge since surrendering the lone and deciding goal to Valor Christian in the fifth overtime session of the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) boys hockey title game last March. 

The Lambkins came close in the Twisted Wrister Tournament a month ago, forcing the Eagles to a three-goal tie in one of the kickoff events for the fall Colorado Prep Hockey League (CPHL) season.

The tie only fueled Fort Collins entering Saturday’s CPHL regular-season showdown with Valor Christian at The Ice Ranch in Littleton.

Valor Christian's Carson Lloyd. Photo by Katie Hinkle, SportsEngine

Valor Christian forward Carson Lloyd answered midway through the final period to bring the Eagles to within two goals, but Williamson countered with another goal just 26 seconds later to make the score 5-2 and help preserve the Lambkins’ victory.

Simon once again was Valor Christian’s biggest challenge, but one the Eagles could not solve this time as he 44 of 47 shots in the victory. His counterpart, goalie Cooper Robinson, stopped 15 shots.

Gwozdecky was content with the opportunities Valor Christian created. His only advice to his team was to force more traffic in front of Simon. 

Strom admitted it's been a luxury to have Simon in net and called him a phenomenal goalie.

“When you have him to rely on and the team is confident playing in front of him, guys can think, ‘If we make a mistake, Sam will bail us out,’ ” Strom said. “It’s a nice insurance policy to have, but you can’t always be counting on him.

Strom also said Saturday’s game likely won’t be the last time Fort Collins collides with Valor Christian.

“I expect Valor to be there at the end of the year,” Strom added. “We’ll likely see them again in the playoffs, I would hope.”

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