Highland High junior Chris Thomas was named MVP in the high school division of the Winter Games hockey tournament for scoring 24 points in four games, including five goals and two assists in the championship game won 11-2 by his North team over the West Saturday night at Cottonwood Recreation Center.
But Thomas wasn't a one-man team. All 15 of his teammates, including goaltender Brett Tamagawa, scored at least a point in the tourney."That's balance," said Coach Jim Levy.
"I've got a really good team," said Thomas, pointing especially to linemate Don Jocko, who scored a goal Saturday and finished the Games with three goals and seven assists. "He's my main man," Thomas said of Jocko, who drove from Price to play.
Tamagawa's assist came on a strange goal. With the West on a 5-on-3 power play, Thomas took a pass from Tamagawa in his defensive corner, and his line-drive clearing pass went goal line to goal line and, on the fly, between the West goalie's knees.
The West scored first and last, and the North scored all 11 in between.
In the battle for the bronze, the East defeated the South 7-3, breaking a 2-2 tie at the end of one period by scoring four straight times. Jim Murray had two in that spurt, and Russ Black had a couple of assists. He had three for the night.
Goaltending played a part as Derrick Hemsley of North Salt Lake, who plays for the Granger High independent team, had about a 90 percent save record for the Games. "He's awesome," said Coach Bill Miller. East's Murray, Mike Haymond and Jeremy Miller had two goals each, and Brett Christensen had the odd goal. South's Jason Lowder had two goals for the night and eight goals and four assists for the tourney, second to Thomas.
The medal games in the senior check tournament are this morning, and the no-check tourney this evening, at Cottonwood.