SALT LAKE CITY — Viewmont claimed its first state hockey championship in 36 years with a 3-2 victory over Park City in triple sudden-death overtime Friday night at the Salt Lake City Sports Complex.
Denton Hinerman scored the game-winning goal with 4:21 left to play in the final period before a shootout would have decided the outcome. Alex Barrus and Jeremy Wiser assisted on the score that gave the Vikings their first title since winning back-to-back crowns in 1976-77 and 1977-78.
The triumph also ended a run of second-place finishes for Viewmont. The Vikings were state runners-up in 1999, 2000, 2010 and 2013. The 2010 team lost to Skyline in sudden-death overtime.
“On the very first day these boys decided that they were going to do things different,” said Viewmont coach Roger Barrus. “They were not taking second no matter what.”
The Vikings prevailed despite being outshot 37-23. They did so in dramatic fashion — forcing overtime on a power-play goal by Alex Barrus (off an assist by Gus Erickson) with just 51.2 seconds remaining in regulation.
Park City had taken a 2-1 lead with 9:49 to go on a goal by William Miele. Derek Sederman and Harry Hanskat were credited with assists.
All other scoring came in the first period. The Miners struck first when Noah Pranschke scored on a play that was assisted by William Radovan and Zachary Slusher. The Vikings fired back less than two minutes later with an unassisted goal by Jeremy Wiser.
Defensively, Viewmont goalie Landon Ramirez finished with 35 saves. Park City’s Brent O’Connell had 20.
Before heading to the game, Barrus said the Vikings stopped by their home rink at the South Davis Recreation Center in Bountiful to see Viewmont’s state championship banner with the 1977 and 1978 dates on it.
“We all stared and looked at it and we knew it would have a whole different look when we came back,” Barrus said. “I can’t wait to put 2014 on there.”
As state champions, Viewmont earned Utah’s automatic bid to the USA Hockey High School Championships, March 26-30, in Omaha, Neb.