Moose 3, Suns 2
Sun Valley Suns 0 1
Jackson Hole Moose 1 1 1 3
PERIOD—(1) Moose, Terry Boyle (Adam Patterson, T.J. Thomas), 7:02,
power play goal.
Scott Winkler 14 (Jamie Ellison), 3:17. (3) Moose, Gregg Gripentrog
(Thomas, Boyle), 18:25.
PERIOD—(4) Moose, Gripentrog (Aaron Ackley), 3:02. (5) SV, Kris
Webster 5 (John Stevens), 8:52, power play goal.
GOAL—for Sun Valley 15-10-9 for 34; for Jackson Hole 15-18-8 for 41.
Matt Gershater (38 saves, 12-1-0 record); Jackson Hole, Ross Boldt (32
big crowd numbered between 600 and 800, but there seemed to be 900 Moose
fans in the arena….Sun Valley’s forward lines were Vilnis Nikolaisons-Ellison-Luke
Smith, Chas Riopel-Joe Lawson-Stevens, Winkler-Tom Forti-John Miller,
Scott Carmack-Bob Tavaer-Chris Benson. Rotating were the five blueliners—Kit
Hughes-Paul Baranzelli, Kris Webster-Jon Bender with pickup Ryan Schaefer.
Schaefer was a friend of Forti, and Minnesotan Tavaer played in Portland
with Suns goalie James Moskos….Bender did well in a first-period fight
with Moose wing Gripentrog. And in the second period, John Miller had a
good retaliatory go with Gripentrog….The second period had 44 penalty
minutes and seemed to take forever. "It was hard to get in the flow
of the game," Benson said….Ellison and Eric Rahilly of the Moose
got game misconducts in a second-period fight that flared up after
Nikolaisons was taken hard into the side boards, with the score 1-1.
Ellison’s loss with 34 minutes yet to play was more devastating.
"It’s hard to lose your #1 scorer," said Benson, who replaced
Ellison on the first line….It looked like the Suns would escape the
second period with a 1-1 tie, despite being outshot 18-10, but a Suns
defensive miscalculation on a line change gave the Moose a 3-on-1—and
Gripentrog scored his first goal with just 1:35 left in the stanza….Webster
drew a penalty with 7:55 left in the game and then got into a fight. He
got the gate as well. As Webster waded through the Jackson crowd to the
locker room, he challenged the crowd from the doorway. He and his
plain-clothes defender, avid Suns fan Matt Gorby, got doused with beer
from the balcony. Webster also got a bloody nose he could show his in-laws
on his trip to Florida Saturday….Penalty minutes were Suns 48, Moose 53.
On the power play: Suns 1-for-5, Moose 1-for-4…Jackson rink manager is
former Suns center and lefthanded Atkinson Park slugger Rip Kirby.
Suns 5, Moose 4
Sun Valley Suns 1 3
Jackson Hole Moose 1 2 1 4
PERIOD—(1) Moose, Dustin Stolp (John Curry, T.J. Thomas), 4:27. (2)
SV, Paul Baranzelli 17 (Tom Forti, Luke Smith), 6:08, power play goal.
John Stevens 22 (Vilnis Nikolaisons, Baranzelli), 0:37, power play goal.
(4) Moose, Adam Patterson (Wade Clarke, Ken Fargnoli), 8:13. (5) SV, John
Miller 5 (Stevens), 10:04, power play goal. (6) SV, Chris Benson 9 (Chas
Riopel, Joe Lawson), 13:09. (7) Moose, Thomas (Eric Rahilly, Curry),
PERIOD—(8) Moose, Josh Gorsalitz (Gregg Gripentrog, Curry), 2:08.
(9) SV, Scott Winkler 15 (Baranzelli, Nikolaisons), 11:30, power play and
GOAL—for Sun Valley 11-12-21 for 44; for Jackson Hole 17-12-15 for
James Moskos (40 saves, 12-1-0 season); Jackson Hole, Bob Carruth (first
51:15, 32 saves) and Ross Boldt (final 8:45, 7 saves).
Jacket" winner was John Miller, who had his usual car trouble in
Jackson Hole. Nursing a sore shoulder, Miller sucked it up and really
fired up the Suns in the second period—first with a power play goal for
a 3-2 lead, then by fighting Moose blueliner Adam Patterson after Miller
was cross-checked late in the second period….The game-tying fourth Moose
goal was what Benson called "a referee’s goal." He said,
"We were called for an intentional offsides, bringing the faceoff
back into our end. And they scored right after. It was a terrible,
terrible call, pretty frustrating." But overall, Benson said, the
officiating was good tonight.…Moskos made a slew of huge saves down the
homestretch, none bigger than a pad save that stopped Gripentrog’s
break-in with three minutes left and the Suns protecting a 5-4 lead….Leading
the Suns fan gallery was Tony Mallane, hollering "T.J."
derisively…..Bench coach John Ellison played a big role, issuing words
of wisdom and particularly helping the defense. He also helped the Suns
back away from possible encounters, barking, "Not tonight boys."….Prior
to tonight, the only Suns win over the Moose at Jackson Hole took place in
the first-ever game between the two teams, back in Dec. 1997. In that
game, Phil Hebert netted the game-winner in a 7-6 Suns triumph, the Suns
were 3-for-8 on the power play and Buzz Buzzell (30 saves) posted the win
in the net. That was the frigid night when Dr. Wade Smith was falsely
accused of stealing Steve "Hugey" McCoy’s truck. The next
night, young Matt Gershater made his first appearance in the Suns cage and
held the Moose to a 4-4 tie. Interestingly, Buzzell was a fan last
weekend, driving double-digit hours from Minnesota to watch the series….The
Suns are 3-4 in the seven 1-goal games with the Moose. Four of the last
five Suns-Moose games have been 1-goal contests….Sun Valley’s forward
lines were Nikolaisons-Ellison-Winkler, Riopel-Lawson-Benson, Smith-Forti-Miller.
Stevens dropped back on defense with Baranzelli and did a very solid job.
With Webster gone, the other defenders were Hughes and Bender with
Schaefer rotating in….Leading the weekend scoring were Stevens (1-2 for
3) and Baranzelli (1-2 for 3). Baranzelli has 9 power-play goals to lead
the team….On the power play the Suns passed the puck very well and ended
up 4-for-9 tonight, 5-for-14 for the weekend. Tonight, the Moose were the
undisciplined team with 47 penalty minutes. The Suns had just 15….In the
four games this season between the two teams, there have been 265 penalty
minutes. The Suns have really picked up their power play against the
Moose, 9-for-25 in four games against the Moose’s 3-for-20….Ellison
(94-153 for 247), Nikolaisons (73-126 for 199), Riopel (96-127 for 223)
and Stevens (74-113 for 187) continue to move up on the all-time scoring
list…..Penalty killing has been a Suns strength. Last season, opponents
were 21-for-82 on the power play. This year it’s 19-for-112, meaning
opponents are on the power play more and scoring less….Last year the
Suns scored 175 goals in 25 games, this year it’s 183 goals in 26 games.
With four games left, the team has an outside shot of breaking the Suns
single-season scoring record of 199 goals set in 1983….The Moose
(89-44-3 in franchise history compared to Sun Valley’s 456-169-28) fell
one win short of their third straight 20-win season. They were 24-8-1 in
their national runner-up season of 2000, 21-7-1 last winter and 19-8 this
season. There was talk that tonight was the last game for Moose veterans
Bryan Korpi and Howie Carruth, who were both unceremoniously tossed out of