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Suns Put Game No. 1000 in the Win Column
Monday, February 11, 2019


 After losing game number 999 to the Holy Cross Crusaders 7-4 on Friday night in Hailey, the Sun Valley Suns were bound and determined to turn the tables and win game number 1000 in front of their faithful at the Campion Ice House on Saturday.

 And they did just that, defeating the visitors 4-1 and sending a sellout crowd home happy on Fan Appreciation Night.

Holy Cross, embracing the spoiler role, came out firing in the opening period, keeping the puck in the Suns’ end, and peppering Sun Valley keeper Matt “Coop” Cooper with shots on goal. But Coop stood on his head early and kept the Crusaders off the scoreboard, making difficult-save- after-difficult-save look pedestrian.

 The Suns didn’t help themselves with back-to-back penalties midway through the first period, forcing their goaltender and penalty killing unit to flex their collective muscle and exterminate the penalties to preserve the scoreless tie.


Then, 17:40 into the first period, Sun Valley newcomer Kevin Kaiser broke through, stuffing the puck into the net to give the home team the 1-0 lead in this very historic game.

Prior to the contest, the Suns and their fans honored many of the Suns alumni who helped found and form this storied franchise. In attendance were 32 alumni, including five of the members of the original Suns team from 1974: John Weekes, John Heinrich, Charlie Holt, Alex Orb and Herbie Haavik. Joining Weekes, the first coach of the Suns, were other former coaches: Tim Jeneson, Steve Morcone and Chris Benson. Many others made their way onto the ice for the pre-game ceremonies, including Sun Valley Suns Alumni Association board members John Miller, David Hutchinson and Dave Stone. The Suns formed a pathway for the alums in a symbolic gesture to recognize these gentlemen who paved the way for this current generation of Sun Valley Suns.

 The Suns’ staunch defense and continued mastery by Cooper between the pipes made the 1-0 lead stand until Kaiser would strike again 13:38 into the second period. Taking a pass from Justin Taylor at the blue line, Kaiser skated in and beat the Crusader goalie through the five hole to make the score 2-0.

 The fourth Suns penalty of the game would prove costly, as Holy Cross capitalized with a power play goal at the 3:59 mark of the second to cut the Suns lead in half, 2-1 as the teams entered the final period.

Kaiser, who admitted after the game he had been snake bitten in his first few games as a Sun, erased all those memories on Saturday night, as he tallied his third goal on a one-timer three minutes into the final stanza. The hat trick for the former NYC St. Nick player gave the Suns a 3-1 lead and let the fans breathe a little easier for the final 17 minutes of play. DJ Robinson buried the puck in the net with help from Marty Flichel and Dylan Shamburger to provide the final score of 4-1.

 A portion of the proceeds from the weekend’s games went to the City of Ketchum Recreation Department.

 The Suns are back in action next weekend—Feb. 15 and 16--as they face the New York Midtown Mafia at the Campion Ice House in Hailey. As always, the puck drops at 7 p.m.


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