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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of March 6 - 12, 2002


Bosom Buddies

Teamwork puts Sun Valley 
Sunsets on top

Express Staff Writer

The Sun Valley Sunsets are used to winning. Their usual MO is winning big and winning easy.

Helping the Sun Valley Sunsets to last weekend’s tournament championship was the forward line of, from left, Georgia Hutchinson, Wendy Speth and Kris Miller. Express photo by Willy Cook

But in the Ski Town Shootout women’s hockey tournament at the Sun Valley Skating Center, March 1-3, the Sunsets found a new way to win—by the skin of their teeth.

In Sunday’s A flight championship against Jackson Hole, Sunsets center Wendy Speth scored with 30 seconds on the clock to lift Sun Valley to a last-gasp 3-2 victory over a Wyoming squad that had trounced the host Sunsets just one day before.

"The girls showed a lot of character," assistant coach Johnny Miller said. "To lose (to Jackson) 4-0 and come back and win is huge."

The Sun Valley Fury, second in last weekend’s "B Flight" tournament on resort ice, gather for a team pose. Express photo by Willy Cook

Wing Larsen Peterson summed up the Sunsets sentiments by saying, "It was definitely the sweetest win I have ever been part of."

In the B flight, the Sun Valley Fury went 3-0 in pool play. They recorded their first wins of the season, but came up short in the finale, losing 4-2 to the Boise Bombshells.

Captain Jen Copeland remarked, "We played so much better than we have all season. You have to look at the tournament as a whole."


Paybacks are sweet

You know what they say about paybacks and the Sunsets were itching to return Saturday’s 4-0 loss to Jackson Hole to the sender.

According to assistant captain Sarah Benson it was only the second time perennial power Sun Valley has been shutout since 1997.

"We owed them," Benson said.

First off, though, the Sunsets had a little revenge to serve up to the Salt Lake Black Diamonds, who beat Sun Valley 2-1 in last year’s title game.

Sun Valley started slowly (for them), scoring three goals in the second and two in the third period for a 5-1 victory late Friday night.

Five different players lit the light; Christl Holzl, Sheila Naghsh, Michele Hampton, Benson and Speth.

After getting blanked by Jackson Hole’s Teton Passers, the Sunsets got back on track with a 4-1 win over the Boise Blades Saturday night.

Sun Valley did not get the party started until the third period when Lucy Chubb broke open a 1-1 tie with a pair of goals within 32 seconds. Holzl and Liza Weekes also scored.

Sunday morning Big Sky goalie Sue Bogue proved to be as impenetrable as a door with a pinball machine in front of it, and despite their naked enthusiasm and 44 shots the Sunsets and Big Sky skated to a scoreless tie.

"The law of averages did not work in our favor," Chubb remarked. "She stopped everything we shot at her." Big Sky only got off seven shots.

With the tie the Sunsets slipped into the final, and you might think the team would be second-guessing itself after a 2-1-1 showing in their four preliminary games. Think again.

"No one ever doubted we could beat them," Chubb said.

The Teton Passers made it onto the scoreboard first, however. Karin Salden scored off passes by wonder girls Jesse Garner (9 points) and Charlotte Quesada (11 points).

A mere two minutes later, Speth picked off a pass in the neutral zone and went in unassisted for a 1-1 tie.

Pressing in the second period and trying to keep the puck in the Sunsets defensive zone, the Passers mistakenly knocked the pass to a streaking Peterson, who connected cross-ice with Holzl. In stride, Holzl fired top shelf for a 2-1 Sun Valley lead.

The teams battled back and forth. Sunsets goalie Karen Morrison, named the game’s Most Valuable Player, made nine saves in the third to six for Teton’s Amy Lyons.

The Sunsets were in transition when Jackson’s Megan Field converted a pass by Garner to tie the game with 1:39 on the clock.

"At that point, I was thinking we’d do all right in overtime," Sunset Sheila Naghsh said. "We had the better goalie."

But with 40 seconds on the clock the Sunsets went to work.

Speth blocked a shot by Jackson’s Kathleen Roe. The puck trickled out of the zone to Chubb, who banged it off the boards back to Speth.

Ask any coach whom they would want to take the final shot with 30 seconds left and the game on the line and the answer would most likely be Speth, whose lethal speed and accuracy are enough to cause venus envy among hockey’s best players.

Speth pulled up at the face-off circle in Jackson’s zone and went over Lyons shoulder for the game-winner. "Beautiful," Miller said.

Afterwards co-captain Benson talked about the team rising to the occasion. "We knew we had to dig deep and pull it together and everyone stepped up," she said.

Chubb concurred, "I thought we played really well and it showed our commitment to winning."

Check out a Sunsets team photo from the recent Jackson tournament in Local Life.


Fury a contender

The Fury enjoyed their first wins of the season and came away with the confidence that they’re a legitimate contender in any tournament.

Coach Chris Edwards remarked, "It was a great weekend of hockey. We were leaps and bounds ahead of how we played earlier in the season. The team has accomplished a lot in the last half of the season."

Sun Valley opened play with a 2-0 shutout of the eventual champion Boise Bombshells Friday night. Center Nicole Perkins scored twice off assists by Dotty Hand and Jen Seiller.

In last year’s tournament, Sun Valley and Boise skated to a scoreless tie in pool play and the Fury went on to beat the Bombshells 4-1 in the consolation final. The two rivals would meet again, but Sun Valley had some wins to rack up first.

Tied 1-1 against the Jackson Hole Moose, the Fury scored three unanswered goals to win 4-1. Merri Whitehead converted twice. Single scores were put in by hard-working centers Nancy Parsons-Brown and Perkins.

Clicking on all cylinders, the Fury had the antidote for the Jackson Venom, winning 6-zip for its second shutout behind goalie Joanie Fox.

Goals were recorded by Perkins (2), Parsons-Brown (2), Jen Copeland and Jeannie Kiel.

Sun Valley was brimming with confidence in Sunday’s final and it was boosted even higher after the Fury rang up two quick goals to go up 2-nil. Sarchett and Jen Seiller caught twine.

But instead of rolling over, the Bombshells tallied two goals within a minute and a half to close out the first period tied 2-all.

Boise’s Karen White scored the eventual game-winner on a power play in the waning seconds of the second, and Cindy Kellar trickled in an insurance score on a goal-mouth scramble for a final of 4-2.

"The wheels kind of came off and we didn’t pull it together," Edwards remarked. "We went away from what got us there—the basics. But the girls had a great weekend."


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.