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Salt Lake City • At the drop of the puck, Park City and Viewmont knew what was on the line. The battle was fierce and the Miners had to overcome adversity due to a bout of the flu in the locker room. With their season in the balance, the Miners turned to their JV goalie as they lived to fight another day.
The 2-1 victory was significant because the Vikings had given the Miners their one playoff loss.
"I wouldn't say it's a revenge victory," said Park City coach Aaron Dufford. "We've had a goal all season to go to nationals and this is part of the journey. We didn't play well enough to win in that game that we lost and it was actually a good thing for us."
In a sense, the loss in their previous matchup was a reality check as the Miners had breezed through their regular season.
With starting goalie Brent O'Connell up all night on Sunday with the flu, Park City turned to Cameron Kincaid. The Vikings took notice, firing shots from all over, but Kincaid never flinched, allowing only one goal.
"They had 28 shots, usually that's about a three-goal game for them," said Park City player Will Radovan.
"[Kincaid] played very solid. He really stepped up to the occasion," said Dufford.
Along with Kincaid, Radovan came through when needed the most, scoring the game-winning goal on a breakaway with 7:36 remaining.
"Willie is one of those guys he's not the prettiest skater, he's not the prettiest puck handler, but Will's got a great mind," said Dufford. "He doesn't get consumed by the pressure and there's no one on this team that I'd rather have out there in a big situation."
Satisfied with the win as he and a total of 12 seniors look forward to their final Utah high school game, Radovan believes his team did not play its best game.
"I think we've just got to come out with a little more tenacity," he said.
Come Friday night, the most tenacious team on that night will leave the ice a champion.
Park City 2, Viewmont 1
R Park City comes out of the losers' bracket to beat Viewmont, setting up a winner-take-all game for the state title on Monday.
• Park City JV goalkeeper Cameron Kincaid gets the start; he stops 27 of 28 shots.