The Palm Desert Lax Classic wrapped up this Sunday crowning three more champions. Orange County was well represented in each finals with OC Crush defeating Nevada-based Zip It for the U-19 tournament title.
1st round U-19: SC Wave vs. Crush Black
This first-round matchup was a glimpse into a top 5 Orange County matchup as San Clemente-based Wave went head-to-head with Foothill-based Crush. San Clemente jumped on a sleeping Crush team to go up 2-1 in the first five minutes. By the end of the first half, goals by Nate Marano and Nick Matzeck put Crush back on top 3-2.
Wave would not be denied as defenseman Adam Brownell took the first faceoff of the second half to the rack to tie the game at 3 all. After a tremendous stop by Crush goalie Ryan Blank, it was off to the races as a fast-break goal by Matzek gave Crush a two-goal lead.
Wave would fight back as Jack Renard fed Peyton Garrett on the back-cut off a locking defender to put the team from SC within one. A Wave man-down to all-even situation miscue gave Drew Boyd the opportunity to feed Matzek for another finish: 6-4 Crush. Wave’s Austin Streeter would put one more in before a last chance possession off a Wave timeout would result in Wave’s inbound pass being knocked down as Crush recovered and time expired. Crush narrowly advanced, 6-5
Crush Black defeats Sogo in OT to advance to the championship.
Zip It upsets top seeded Brady’s Bunch Believe 8-6 to face Crush Black.
U-19 Championship: Crush Black vs Zip It
Coming off a huge upset of probably the most talented team in the tournament, Zip It looked as if they had already won the championship. They had the momentum early jumping out to a 4-1 lead and severely underestimated the reserve of OC’s Crush.
Kodzis and Marano would trade goals with one from Zip it to pull Crush within 2 at 3-5. A Crush goal by Matzek cut the lead to 1 going into the second half.
Crush managed to match the physicality of the Zip It Nevada collaborative team in the final minutes of the game and Owenn Geis came up with a huge gb inside Crush’s own 12 to start a fast break that was finished by Matzek to tie the game at 7 apiece.
A crucial face off win by Sam Kron would give Crush the chance to win it all. Assisted by Matzek, sophomore Jake Haigh scored the tournament winner with less than 30 to play in the game. Crush win their first PDLC championship 8-7.
Hats off to both Crush goalies Ryan Blank and Hank Lewis who played especially well in their three playoff games.
Congrats Crush on an amazing tournament! The final game was the most exciting game of the tournament hands down and the best team came up victorious.
More Coverage of all other divisions to come and tune in<strong> Tuesday evening</strong> for a video recap of the weekend!