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Suns Fend Off Bantam Beauties Twice for Sweep
Monday, February 10, 2020


 The Sun Valley Suns Hockey Club welcomed the Connecticut Bantam Beauties into town this weekend for a two-game series at the Ice House in Hailey.

 Despite relinquishing leads in both games, the Suns came away with a sweep, winning 5-4 in overtime on Friday night, and holding on for a 6-5 victory on Saturday.

 Entering the final period on Friday night tied at two goals apiece, Suns second-year forward Nick Curry scored at the 15:30 mark, assisted by Max Tardy and Doug Yeates, to give the hometown boys a 3-2 lead. Four minutes later, the season goal-scoring leader Tardy added to his individual total with a goal off a Nick Curry pass to give the Suns a two-goal lead with 11 minutes remaining in regulation.

 The Bantam Beauties refused to go down without a fight, scoring with 5:37 on the clock to tighten the contest at 4-3. Forty-seven seconds later, following a major penalty against the Suns, Connecticut added a goal to tie the game 4-4. The Suns were able to survive the Bantam Beauty power play for the remainder of the game and force a three-on-three sudden death overtime period.

 It didn’t take even a minute for the Suns to put this one in the win column as Dylan Shamburger scored 32 seconds into overtime for the 5-4 victory, setting off the celebration on the ice and in the stands, as the 500-plus fans in attendance went wild.

 Connecticut struck first on Saturday night, scoring one minute and eleven seconds into the contest to take an early 1-0 lead. But the Suns, much to the delight of another big crowd in Hailey, struck right back as veteran defenseman Sean O’Grady out-skated the Bantam Beauty defender at the blue line and beat the goalie to knot the score at one goal apiece.

 O’Grady tallied his second goal of the night three minutes later off an exquisite pass from fellow defenseman Yeates to give the Suns the 2-1 lead as Sun Valley took advantage of the Connecticut-delayed penalty, scoring with the extra skater on the ice. With 7:40 remaining in the opening period, eighth-year forward Spencer Brendel scored to stretch the lead to 3-1. Nick Curry and Tardy assisted on the Brendel even-strength, goalie-on-the-ice goal. 

 Early in the second period, O’Grady stretched out to keep the puck in the Suns’ end and delivered a perfect pass to Tardy who centered the puck to Nick Curry who in turn deposited it in the back of the net for the home town squad’s fourth goal of the night.

 Both defenses flexed their muscles after the O’Grady score and Suns goalie Matt Cooper turned away back-to-back breakaways with pad saves to preserve the 4-1 lead. Yeates extended the lead to 5-1 with four minutes remaining in the second period, finding the net on a slap shot from just inside the blue line, assisted by Stephen Inman and Nick Curry.

 But—yikes!--for the second night in a row, Connecticut had no quit in them, scoring two quick goals to close the gap to 5-3 with 2:40 left in the period. However, with only 44.4 seconds on the clock, Tardy took a centering pass from the Suns’ eldest elder statesmen, Ryan ‘Rico’ Enrico, and scored what would turn out to be the game winner, making the score 6-3.

 The Bantam Beauties scored twice in 70 seconds midway through the final period to make the score 6-5, raising the collective stress level of the hometown faithful hoping for the victory. With nine minutes remaining in the contest, after two quick penalties, the Suns found themselves two men down and in danger of losing their seemingly insurmountable lead. But they took the challenge head on and killed off the penalties to hold on for the 6-5 victory and the two-game series sweep.

 The wins moved their impressive season record to 15-1. Next up for the Suns are the New York City Midtown Mafia who skate into town and into the Ice House on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14 and 15. Puck drops at 7 p.m.both nights.





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