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Suns Split a Pair in Final Home Stand
Monday, March 4, 2019


The beginning of March signaled the end of the regular season for the Sun Valley Suns Hockey Club as they welcomed the talented Vermont Switchbacks to the Campion Ice House in Hailey.

The Suns played nearly flawless hockey on Friday to take the opener 6-2, but fell to the Switchbacks 7-4 on Saturday to settle for a split in the final tune-up before next week’s Black Diamond Hockey League Championships.

The home team came out hot from the drop of the puck in Game 1, as first-year Swedish phenom Rusty Andersson scored off the rebound of a shot by Dylan Shamburger to grab the early 1-0 lead seven minutes into the contest. Veteran Sun Taylor Rothgeb kept the pressure on as he took a perfect centering pass from Bryan O’Connell and beat the Vermont goalie who was still reeling from the O’Connell deke to increase the lead to 2-0.

Andersson wasn’t finished, scoring off his own rebounded shot at the 6:46 mark of the first period to make the score 3-0. Three minutes later, Kevin Kaiser and Justin Taylor teamed up on a breakaway to give the Suns a 4-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

Less than one minute into the second stanza Aerosmith performed a reunion gig, as Stephen Inman fed Tyler Lovejoy for the no-look wraparound goal to provide what would prove the insurmountable 5-0 lead.

Vermont finally broke through with a goal against the solid Suns defense and fine goaltending by Bobby Bowden 3:34 seconds into the period, but Spencer Brendel answered back with a wicked one-timer to restore the five-goal lead.

Both teams’ defense stifled the offenses for the remainder of the game and treated the big crowd at the Ice House to fast and hard-hitting hockey, sending the Suns’ faithful fans home happy on Friday night.

The Suns and Switchbacks battled on Saturday night throughout, with the visitors emerging victorious by a count of 7-4. Vermont broke open the 1-1 game in the second period, scoring three goals in just over a minute to take a 4-1 lead. The Suns made it interesting behind goals by newcomer Nick Curry, O’Connell and Doug Yates to pull within one goal at 5-4 with 3:14 left in the third period, only to have Vermont scored two late goals to earn the split.

Following Friday night’s game, sixth year Suns defenseman Mike Curry spoke highly of the visitors from Vermont, referring to the value of facing a quality opponent leading up to the BDHL championship. “We scheduled them at this point in the season for a reason: They are a fast and talented hockey club.”

The Suns will travel to the Snow King Center in Jackson Hole this coming weekend—March 8 and 9--seeking to defend their BDHL Championship.

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