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Valor Christian holds off Chaparral in Class 5A South Conference clash

By Trevor Squire, SportsEngine, 02/22/21, 7:30PM MST


Eagles goalie Jace Ruth stood tall against a rabid Wolverines offense while teammate Noah Fekete sealed the victory with a goal in the third period.

Noah Fekete (20) celebrates with this teammates in Valor Christian's 5-4 victory over Chaparral Friday night. Fekete scored the game-winner with six minutes remaining in the third period. Photo by Steven Robinson, SportsEngine

Eagles goalie Jace Ruth. Photo by Steven Robinson, SportsEngine

Valor Christian entered Friday’s game with Class 5A South Conference rival Chaparral boasting a 1.11 goals-against average in CHSAA play since the 2019 regular season, giving the Eagles one of the stingiest defenses in the league. 

The Wolverines seemed unimpressed and unfazed, unleashing a rabid offensive attack on the Eagles that resulted in a record number of shots allowed. However, Chaparral was unsuccessful in knocking off the defending CHSAA state champion. 

Valor Christian goaltender Jace Ruth weathered the 39-shot barrage — the most an Eagles team has surrendered since at least 2017 — and held on as Chaparral mounted a furious comeback attempt in the third period to help the Eagles prevail 5-4 at Family Sport Center in Hamilton. The victory keeps Valor Christian in the running for one of the four Class 5A state tournament bids this season.

Chaparral's Colin McCready scored the final goal of the game, drawing the Wolverines to 5-4. Photo by Steven Robinson, SportsEngine

The margin held until Mundell created a rebound that McCready fired home for a goal with 19 seconds remaining in regulation, breathing some life into the Wolverines. The Eagles, however,  cleared the final faceoff of the game to seal the victory.

Wolverines coach Ryan Finnefrock was proud of his team’s resilience in the game, especially knowing the loss means the Wolverines will face quite a challenge the rest of the season. Chaparral needs to win the remaining games on its schedule to have a chance to secure the at-large bid in this season’s Class 5A state tournament.

“Our backs are against the wall,” Finnefrock said. “It’s a travesty… but we’ve got to win out and we know it. That includes our rematch with Valor next Saturday.”

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