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Sun Valley Suns Take It to Overtime in Home Finale
 
           
 
Sunday, March 5, 2017
 

BY MICHAEL DAVID

Following an offensive outburst in Friday night's 7-5 Sun's victory, the Sun Valley Suns and the Vermont Switchbacks both decided to turn it up on defense in Game Two Saturday night.

And the visitors prevailed in this one, hanging on for a 4-3 overtime victory over the Suns in the final home game of the season.

In front of another huge crowd at the Campion Ice House in Hailey, the Suns battled back from a two-goal deficit in the second period. They tied the game at 3-3 and forced the sudden death period.

But two penalties late in regulation came back to haunt the home team, as they were forced to start overtime play down two skaters.  The 5-on-3 disadvantage proved too much as the Middlebury Alums from Vermont scored less than one minute into the extra period to earn the split in the two-game series.

The Switchbacks got on the scoreboard first, going on top 1-0 halfway through the first period.  The Suns tied the game one minute later, with Justin Taylor tallying the score, assisted by Mike Smith and Branislav Kost. But Vermont bounced back with a goal at the 3:00 mark in the first to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

The Suns fell behind by two goals when the Switchbacks scored a full-strength goal five minutes into the second period.  The score would remain 3-1 for the next 11 minutes until Suns’ rookie Max Tardy jammed the puck into the net for an unassisted goal, bringing the home team within one goal at the end of two periods.

Sun Valley wasted no time in the third period, as Spencer Brendel scored at the 19:10 mark to tie the game at three goals apiece.  Both defenses stiffened, preventing any scoring for the final 19 minutes of regulation and giving the packed house a little "free" hockey.

The Suns finished the regular season with 14-8 overall record and a 10-6 mark at home. Saturday's loss snapped a six-game winning streak, but the Suns are playing their best hockey as they head into the Black Diamond Hockey League playoffs next weekend in Jackson where they will defend their championship from last season.

A bus and lodging package is available for Suns' fans to travel to Jackson for the playoffs.  The bus will leave on Friday morning and return Sunday morning following the championship game on Saturday night.  Check out www.bdhljh.com for details.




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