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Suns Duke it Out in Overtime
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Saturday, January 28, 2017


The Sun Valley Suns put themselves in a big hole in the first period Friday night against the Vail Yeti, but they managed to dig and claw their way back to force overtime.

However, the comeback fell short, as the visitors scored 41 seconds into the extra period, giving Vail the 5-4 victory in the first of a two-game series this weekend at the Campion Ice House in Hailey.

Sun’s net minder Ryan Thompson was seeking his 100th career victory. But he fell under a barrage of shots early, as the Yeti scored four goals in a 10-minute span to take a 4-0 lead with four minutes left in the opening period.

Sun Valley finally started to put some pressure on the Vail defense at the end of the period, only to see their shots repeatedly turned away by the Yeti goalie, leaving the score 4-0 at the first intermission.

The second period began ominously, as Suns’ penalties put the home team down two skaters for three minutes. But Thompson and the penalty killing unit was up to the task, shutting down the Yeti power play. The Suns again found themselves in a three on five halfway through the period, but once more they killed the power plays and kept the deficit at four goals.

Sun Valley finally broke through late in the second stanza with Taylor Rothgeb scoring with 2:59 remaining in the period. The goal made the score 4-1 and seemed to infuse energy into the previously listless Sun’s offense, as they proceeded to pepper the Vail goaltender with shots, closing out the second period with positive momentum and bringing the crowd to life.

The Suns were unable to capitalize on two Vail penalties in the first half of the third period. With seven minutes remaining on the clock and the homeboys down by three goals, hopes for a comeback remained bleak.

But Ryan Enrico scored at the 6:07 mark to cut the lead to 4-2. Two minutes later, another Sun goal put Sun Valley within one goal and brought the boisterous crowd to their feet. With 1:16 left in regulation, Suns first-year player Max Tardy flushed the puck through the pipes to tie the game and provide the spectators with some free hockey.

But, in the blink of an eye, Vail surprised everyone in the Ice House by scoring almost immediately in the 3-on-3 overtime format, much to the dismay of the Suns and their loyal fans.

Thompson’s bid for 100 victories is on hold for another week. But the Suns will look to defeat the Yeti tonight—Saturday, Jan. 28—to earn a split in the series.

The puck drops at 7 p.m. at the Campion Ice House in Hailey. Proceeds from ticket sales for the board-crashing hockey action between these two Black Diamond Hockey League rivals go to Sawtooth United.



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