Suns stay perfect
7-6 shootout win
Suns goalie James Moskos likes to see a lot of shots to stay sharp.
But he hasn’t
been tested much recently including Friday’s game with the Dallas South
Stars at Sun Valley Skating Center.
three periods and a five-minute sudden death overtime, Moskos saw a grand
total of 18 shots.
his Dallas counterpart Steve Swenson was very busy, often spectacular,
stopping 45 of 50 Suns shots including all seven in OT.
So with the
teams deadlocked at 5-5 and headed for an overtime shootout, the scenario
was—Moskos ice cold, Swenson red hot.
help when Moskos gave up a goal on the first Dallas shootout attempt.
year’s Suns squad has developed a confidence level that has carried Sun
Valley to 21 wins in 22 games. They’ve found a way to win.
exuded that confidence. He said, after the game, "I was hoping it
would go to a shootout because I knew our guys would put it in the net and
I knew I could stop them."
Winkler and Jamie Ellison made back-to-back shootout goals and Moskos
stopped the final four Dallas shooters as Sun Valley stayed perfect in
three overtime contests this season with a 7-6 shootout victory.
Saturday, Suns goalie Matt Gershater logged his second shutout of the
season in a 7-0 Suns cakewalk.
balance was a huge thing for Sun Valley on a weekend when Ellison’s
high-scoring first line was disrupted by a groin injury suffered by
reliable wing Vilnis Nikolaisons.
goals on the board, Suns had 12 different goal scorers and 18
point-getters for the weekend, nearly everybody on the team. Defenseman
Ivars Muzis, with two goals Saturday, was the only Suns player scoring
more than one goal.
winners of six in a row, would have been the first to say that they should
have nailed down Friday’s game much earlier. They dominated in the
former collegiate goalie from Minnesota, was the difference particularly
Benson hit the post two minutes into OT then Joe Lawson’s shot on a pass
from Chas Riopel ricocheted off Swenson’s arm and dribbled past the same
In the last
minute Swenson stopped Luke Smith, as Ellison hammered away in the slot,
then the Dallas goalie denied Paul Baranzelli twice, once on a wrist shot
and the second time on a rebound.
Ryan Hopkins beat Moskos top shelf on the first shootout attempt, then
Swenson was solid as a rock in stopping Lawson and Ben Stauffer.
Meanwhile, Moskos was just getting warmed up, coming out to cut off the
angles and expertly retreating to deny the last four Stars.
running out on the Suns when Winkler got lucky.
His trip up
the ice was an adventure that ended successfully. Winkler busted up the
ice, skating furiously, then he remembered that he needed to stickhandle
and find the puck as well. Winkler was the navigator, but the puck had a
life of its own and somehow beat Swenson.
next, with big Luke Smith in the hole, but Smith wasn’t needed. Ellison
shot early, a dart that landed in the lower right hand corner before
Swenson could react. Then Moskos drew the curtain by making the final save
of an exciting evening.
Suns (21-1) entertain the Boston Hockey Club Saturday, March 8-9 at 7 p.m.
in the Sun Valley rink.
always plays Sun Valley tough.
swept the Beantowners 9-8 and 6-4 last March. The 10-season rivalry is
deadlocked 9-9-2, but Sun Valley has won three of the last four games.
recently, Boston invaded Jackson Hole, Wyo. and split with the host Moose
Feb. 15-16. The Moose, who ended February with an 18-5 season record,
dominated 14-5 in the opening game but lost to Boston 5-4 in an overtime
shootout in the finale.
Express web site for updated season statistics.