Monday, June 24, 2019
Suns Take Down Moose in a Shootout
 
 
Sunday, December 30, 2018
 

BY MICHAEL DAVID

Sixty minutes of hockey wasn’t enough to determine the victor Friday night at The Campion Ice House.

Overtime failed to produce a winner, as well, so they turned to an old-fashioned duel between the Suns and their arch rivals, the Jackson Moose.  In front of a completely packed house in Hailey, the Sun Valley Suns Hockey Club defeated Jackson 6-5 in a shootout to take the first game of the two-game set.

The typically late arriving crowd packed the arena 25 minutes prior to the drop of the puck in anticipation of this fierce rivalry game between the two Black Diamond Hockey League foes. For the first 10 minutes of action, the fans were treated to hard hits and staunch defense but no scoring.

Suns first-year goalie, Bobby Bowden stared down and rejected all of the Moose shots on goal while the Suns were unable to create any real scoring opportunities.

The Moose, booed by many of the fans each time they touched the puck, got on the scoreboard first with a power play goal at the 10:48 mark of the first period. One minute later, Suns forward Max Tardy scored with an assist from DJ Robinson to tie the contest. The celebration was short-lived as Jackson responded immediately to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

After staving off a Jackson power play at the start of the second period, the Suns found themselves short-handed again just three minutes into the stanza, fearing the prospect of going two goals down to their talented rivals. However, only nine seconds after the Jackson power play began, Suns forward Spencer Brendel, aided by a mishandled puck by the Moose, snagged the loose puck at the blue line and beat the goalie for the short-handed unassisted goal to tie the game at two apiece.

Sixteen-year Suns veteran Ryan Enrico gave the home team its first lead of the game one minute later, stuffing in the rebound from a Derek Grimes shot following a sweet centering pass from Chad O’Brien. Tardy scored his second goal of the game at the 1:54 mark, helped out by Stephen Inman to provide a 4-2 lead as the second period was coming to a close. But the Moose surprised the Suns and the jubilant crowd by scoring with only 22 seconds left before the intermission to climb back within one goal, 4-3 at the final break.

The Suns once again extended their lead to two goals as Tardy picked up the hat trick on a nifty power play goal five minutes into the third period. After receiving the feed from Inman, Tardy beat two defenders, skated through the crease, and let gravity do its thing as the puck scooted by the goalie who anticipated the back-hander from the crafty second-year Sun.

After the game, the ever-modest Tardy claimed he lost possession of the puck and got lucky. But grizzled hockey fans in the stands were certain he had purposely worked a spell on the unsuspecting and outmatched Moose goalie.

The Suns were unable to maintain their 5-3 lead for long as the Moose scored two straight goals in a span of 39 seconds to knot the game back up and significantly raise the heart rate of the 1,023 fans at Campion. The teams had scoring opportunities in the final eight minutes of regulation but both busy goaltenders were up to the task, stopping all comers and forcing overtime.

Sun Valley began and ended the extra period of hockey short-handed but was able to withstand the four-on-three Moose advantages. Following the overtime penalty on Suns forward Dylan Shamburger, the puck was completely controlled by Jackson in the Sun Valley end for the final 1:24, but Bowden and the defense were able to keep the game tied and move the contest to the five-man shootout.

After Bowden stoned the first Jackson shooter cold, Shamburger skated out to look for redemption following his overtime penalty. But the referees and linesman huddled together and determined the second-year Sun was not eligible to participate in the shootout due to his penalty. Tardy stepped in to take his turn, looking for his fourth goal of the evening, but his attempt was denied by the Moose goalie.

The following seven shooters were unsuccessful in their attempts to find the net, which left Suns DJ Robinson as the final shooter with score still tied 5-5. Robinson took the puck at center-ice, started to his right, moved back to his left at the blue line and proceeded to beat the goalie through the five-hole, igniting the victory celebration in the stands and on the ice.

On Saturday the Suns got a sweep, beating Jackson 4-2 before another packed house.

Proceeds of the weekend’s games went to Hailey Ice. The Suns will be back in action in Hailey Friday and Saturday, Jan. 11 and 12, against the Connecticut Bantam Beauties. Puck drops at 7 p.m.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Watch the action on your big flat screen TV when Eye on Sun Valley presents highlights from Friday's game on Cox Cable YUR VIEW Channel 13. The show airs at 7:30 p.m. Sundays and at other times throughout the week.

 




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