The Sun Valley Sunsets captured third place in last weekend’s Tucson (Az.)
women’s hockey tournament. Front, from left, goalie Karen Morrison, Sarah
Benson, Michele Hampton, Kris Miller, Tizz Miller, Larsen Peterson and Julie
Bell. Back row, from left, coach Chris Benson, Wendy Speth, Lucy Chubb, Edith
Iler, Christine Gould, Christl Holzl, Jen Embree and coach Luke Smith.
Courtesy photo by Bryan Speth
Bronze goes to
Sunsets in Arizona
Speth, Chubb are offensive stars
By LUKE SMITH
For the Express
The Sun Valley Sunsets opened their
2003-2004 campaign in Arizona this past weekend, going 3-1 and earning a bronze
medal at the Stars and Stripes Tucson women’s hockey tournament.
Offensive stars for the Sunsets included
Wendy Speth (4 goals, 5 assists), Lucy Chubb (5 goals) and Christl Holzl, who
scored the game winner in Sun Valley’s one-goal victory over the Tucson Chilly
Speth won the team jacket for outstanding
performance of the weekend.
Opening against the Primero Scorpions, the
Sunsets won 3-0 led by center Speth, who returned to the lineup after a year off
for maternity leave. Speth scored twice, book-ending a lone tally by Chubb.
Speth’s first goal came just before the
end of the first frame with an assist to Jen Embree. The Sunsets held the 1-0
lead through the second period and into the final stanza when Chubb deflected a
feed from Kris Miller into the upper corner for the insurance goal.
With four minutes remaining, Speth put the
game on ice, picking the lower corner with a smoking wrist shot.
"A strong performance for the first game
of the season," said Sunsets coach Chris Benson. "There were no defensive lapses
and a good effort in the offensive end.€¯" Goalie Karen Morrison made 19 saves.
In the nightcap Saturday, the Sunsets kept
things interesting until late, coming from behind to edge the host Tucson Chilly
Peppers, 6-5, despite outshooting the hosts, 26-15.
After the Chilly Peppers opened the
scoring less than a minute into the game, Sun Valley stormed back with three
Chubb started the rally, blasting a shot
to the upper corner, and then assisted on the second goal, feeding a wide-open
Miller in the slot for the score. The third score came on 5-on-3 power play when
Tizz Miller fed Chubb for an easy tap-in and a 3-1 lead.
The host side picked up on Sun Valley’s
lead and went on their own three-goal outburst to take a 4-3 lead into the final
Midway through the third period, captain
Sarah Benson seemed to right the Sunsets ship by burying a loose puck in the
slot. The tie lasted less than a minute as Tucson tallied again, but another
scramble in front of the Chilly Pepper net led to Speth’s first goal of the game
with six minutes left.
Christl Holzl was on the receiving end of
a beautifully executed 3-on-1 as she tallied the game-winner with just under
four minutes to play. Speth and Benson assisted.
The match-up of the tournament took place
Sunday morning as the Sunsets faced off against the also-undefeated Phoenix
The winner would advance to the gold-medal
game against the Phoenix Inferno. However, Sun Valley’s inability to contain
center Jen Lipman of the Blues relegated the Sunsets to the bronze-medal round.
The final score was 5-3 in favor of the
A Sun Valley power-play goal was the lone
score of the first period. Speth rounded the Phoenix net and found Embree at the
right point. Her wrist shot through a Chubb screen found twine and gave the
Sunsets their only lead of the game.
Phoenix netted the only tally of the
second period, sending the 1-1 battle into the third period. Phoenix’s Lipman,
after assisting on the tying goal, dangled her way through the Sun Valley lineup
and scored to put the Blues up with 15 minutes remaining in the game.
Benson’s power-play goal with nine minutes
left tied it at 2-2, but the Blues took the lead for good just a minute later on
a solo effort by Lipsman.
In the bronze medal game, the Sunsets
faced off once more against the host Chilly Peppers.
Both sides were clearly tired after a
weekend of hockey and instead of an 11-goal affair, the teams settled for a more
sedate but still dominating 3-1 win for Sun Valley.
One goal in each period was enough for the
Sunsets, as Morrison turned away all but one attempt by the Peppers.
Speth started things in the first period,
juking her way through the Tucson defense from the left boards and firing a
goal. In the second period, she picked off a pass just inside the offensive blue
line and dropped the puck for Chubb, who ripped a shot to the upper corner past
the helpless Tucson goalie.
Tucson cut the lead in half with 13
minutes to play as their standout player, Amanda Moors, broke free and rifled a
shot past Morrison. But Speth fed Chubb once again with four minutes remaining
to secure the hardware for the Sunsets.
Coach Benson saluted the Sunsets’ team
defense throughout the weekend.
He said, "Everyone played really well for
the first tournament of the year. We ran into a couple of strong hockey players
who were tough to contain, but overall, I think we have to be pretty pleased
with the way things went."
Next up for the Sunsets is a December
tournament in Boise.
Arizona scoring and stats: Wendy
Speth 4 goals and 5 assists for 9 points; Lucy Chubb 5/3 for 8 points; Sarah
Benson 2/1; Kris Miller 1/2; Jen Embree 1/2 for 3; Tizz Miller 0/3; Julie Bell
0/2; and Christl Holzl 1/0. Karen Morrison faced 82 shots and made 71 saves.