Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Rangers settle for second in Senior Open

Masters ice hockey played on Sun Valley ice

Eddie Grimes of the Ketchum Rangers keeps his stick low to break up a play last weekend on Sun Valley ice. Photo by Willy Cook

Eight senior men's hockey teams from Idaho, Wyoming and Montana put down some steps Friday through Sunday in the three-day Sun Valley Senior Open tournament intended for skaters ages 50-and-over.

Eight games were played at Sun Valley Skating Center.

Bozeman's Flying Zambonis posted four wins including Sunday's 3-2 championship game win over second-place Ketchum Rangers. Wyoming Wolves won the third-place game by forfeit over Boise Rusty Blades.

With Dave McMillan scoring five of his team's 12 goals, the host Ketchum Rangers went 2-2 for the weekend, starting with Friday's 3-2 triumph over Wyoming Wolves.

In that game the Rangers jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead—McMillan scoring a single and John Burke two goals—but the Wolves battled back into a 3-2 game. The Rangers defense backstopped by goalie Pete Prekeges held Wyoming scoreless in the third.

The Rangers ended up playing the Flying Zambonis twice, and out-shot the eventual champs from Bozeman in each game, but Ketchum couldn't put the puck in the net starting with Saturday's 3-1 loss to the Zambonis.

Tournament organizer John Heinrich said, "The Zambonis had a tremendous goalie."

Goalie Trista Ballou played for the Rangers in the 3-1 loss Saturday.

Later Saturday, McMillan notched the three-goal hat trick and the Rangers got single goals from Buck Drew, Terry Crawford and Jeff Enos in a 6-0 shutout of the Boise Rusty Blades. Goalie Prekeges faced 19 shots and made 19 saves for the winners.

In other games leading up to Sunday's deciding contests, Bozeman shaded Boise 4-2, Wyoming and Boise skated to a 2-2- tie, and Bozeman got the best of Wyoming 3-1.

The championship game was scoreless after one period, but the Zambonis tallied three unanswered goals to surge ahead 3-1 after two periods. The Rangers pressed all through the third stanza but could score only once.

Dick Nelson and Enos scored the Rangers goals. John "Cub" Burke was ejected for dropping his gloves after a foiled breakaway attempt.

Other Rangers skaters were John Heinrich, Hermie Haavik, Alan Reynolds, David Brown, Rob Santa, Charlie Holt, Glenn Hunter, Eddie Grimes and Paul Carson.

Trophies were awarded to the top three teams—first place to Bozeman Flying Zambonis, second place to Ketchum Rangers and third place to the Wyoming Wolves.

Major sponsor was Sun Valley Brokers, with help from The Roosevelt Tavern, Sawtooth Club, Sturtevants and Cargill. "Everybody had a great time and the hospitality was great," said Open organizer Heinrich.

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