SALT LAKE CITY – It was deja vu all over again for Davis County Independent hockey coach Clay Hobbs.
With his Eagles tied 4-4 and heading into overtime in the Independent state championship game against Northern Utah Independent, Hobbs took one look in the stands at his son and former player Dax Hobbs, and the pair shared in the familiarity of it all.
“When we won the title back in 2011, the score was 5-4 and we won it in overtime,” Hobbs said. “So we kind of looked at each other and said ‘here we go again’.”
The moment continued for Hobbs and the team. On top of the final score being the same, the team he faced, now with a different name, was the exact same team he faced in the title game in 2011 as well.
“They were known as the Weber County Independent team then,” he said. “Then they kind of folded into NUI and all came under one team, but they’re practically the same team from the 2011 season.”
The game remained tied at 4-4 after a scoreless first overtime period, and in the second overtime, Weston Walker was fed a great pass from Bernie Cosgriff for the game winning goal.
Unlike three seasons ago, however, Hobbs said this championship was more of a relief than anything else.
“We had the talent this season to win it all,” he said. “When we started getting kids in from Northridge combined with the players we already had, we knew we had the players we needed to win the title. It was just a matter of the coaches putting them in a position to win.”
Winning was what the Eagles did nearly all season. An 8-2 overall record to finish the regular season, combined with a 4-0 mark in the playoffs, gave DCI a 12-2 overall record.
But before the team even hit the ice for the beginning of the season, Hobbs decided that if the team wanted to win another one, he’d have to break out the championship ring.
“When we held our first team meeting, we brought in those rings from three years ago,” said Hobbs. “We wanted to show the team that if they wanted to get a ring, they’d have to play physical, tough defense.”
Their physical defense turned into a solid offense for the Eagles, who had several players lead the league in scoring and overall points when the season was over and the championship was claimed.
Cosgriff and Walker were just two of the players Hobbs pointed out as having a solid season for the Eagles.
The others, Troy Quarnberg and Martin Thiesen, were two that Hobbs said were integral parts of the team’s success, along with Zan Hobbs.
“We didn’t have to rely on one person scoring all the time and hoping we played good enough defense to win games,” said Hobbs. “Every game somebody stepped up and helped us win. This was a total team effort all season and I couldn’t be happier for the players.”
Quarnberg scored a goal and had two assists in the championship game. Walker’s game-winning goal was his third in the game.
Walker finished the season with 54 overall points, scoring 28 goals with 26 assists.