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Suns Tustle with Texas Titans
 
           
 
Sunday, December 8, 2019
 

BY MICHAEL DAVID

After disposing of the Bozeman Stingers in two straight blowout wins to start the season, the Sun Valley Suns knew things would be different when they welcomed the Texas Titans into town this weekend.

 The Titans, a team from Dallas stacked with former professional hockey players from all levels, lived up to their reputation on Friday night in the first of two games with the Suns. Still, Sun Valley withstood their constant offensive pressure, jumped out to an early lead, and held on for the 5-4 victory in front of a great crowd at the Campion Ice House in Hailey.

 After a scoreless opening seven minutes, the human goal machine, aka Max Tardy, took the puck in the corner, skated through the goal crease, faked a shot to the goalie’s right and cozied the puck into the open net for the early 1-0 lead. Four minutes later, DJ Robinson scored after confusing the goal keeper with a great game of tic-tac-toe between himself, Dylan Schamburger and Justin Taylor to put the home team up 2-0.

 With two minutes remaining in the first period, Trevor Thomas was shown the penalty box by the referees, but his teammates killed off the penalty to retain the momentum heading into the initial break. Despite being outshot by the Titan 22-11, the Suns took the two-goal lead into the intermission.

 At the 11:23 mark of the second period, Tardy used a little luck to get his 11th goal of the young season, knocking the puck off the skate of a Texas Titan defender which ricocheted past the unsuspecting goalie for a 3-0 lead. Four minutes later, veteran forward Justin Taylor scored, assisted by Shamburger and Robinson to stretch the lead to 4-0.

 Tardy garnered his second hat trick in three games (although he might lobby for another hat trick after his seven goal performance in the season opener) 14:08 into the second, redirecting a beautiful feed from Nick Curry into the top right corner of the net for a seemingly insurmountable 5-0 lead moving into the third and final period.

 For the third straight game, Suns goaltender Bobby Bowden stood on his head, turning away all 43 Texas shots through the first two periods. The Titans finally got on the board with 10:52 seconds remaining in regulation with a full-strength goal on a one-timer from just inside the blue line.

 Texas kept the pressure on, peppering the Sun’s goal with a fury of shots and added another goal at the 3:25 mark, cutting into their deficit to making the score 5-2. Coach Cub Burke, sensing the serious momentum shift, called a timeout to regroup his team. But the Titans scored less than a minute later, gaining the full attention of the crowd in Hailey, to pull within two goals at 5-3.

 Things got very interesting 34 seconds later when the Texans 60th shot on goal beat an exhausted Bowden to make the score 5-4. But the Suns defense tightened their belts and turned away the Titans’ furious comeback attempt, holding them scoreless for the last 2:02 of the contest and hanging on for the victory.

On Saturday night the Suns skated to another 5-4 victory to sweep the two game set. Max Tardy and Justin Taylor each scored two goals to lead the way. Matt Cooper was the winning goalie.

The Suns remain undefeated with a record of 4-0 and will face the Park City Pioneers next weekend, Dec. 13 and 14, in Hailey. Puck drops at 7 p.m. both nights. 

 

 



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