Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Fury hits the right notes at Missoula hockey

Seeing new teams, going 1-1-1

Their rendition of "Y.M.C.A." at Liberty Lanes Karaoke Night was definitely off key.

Otherwise the Sun Valley Fury hit all the right notes during last weekend's Missoula (Mt.) Invitational women's hockey tournament.

The Fury, paced by captain Bege Reynolds and wing Kipp Mills, who shared Co-Most Valuable Player honors, went 1-1-1 in a field of four in the A/B tournament.

Despite a long drive and limited sleep, Sun Valley, showing the stamina of long-haul truckers, opened with its best effort of the tournament, skating past a sextet from Airdrie, Canada 3-2.

Reynolds, playing center, netted two goals and Mia Edsall sunk one. Goalie Joanie Whitcomb made 19 saves.

Tied 2-2 against the hometown Missoula Frost in the second game, the Fury could not hit the open net in the final minutes and ended up earning three points for a draw. Mills and Kelly Kerns scored and Whitcomb turned back 22 shots.

"Joanie had three our four scrambles that saved us," coach Chris Edwards remarked.

Needing a win to advance to the final, Sun Valley surrendered the game-winning goal in the third period in a 3-2 loss to Spokane (Wash.). Mills and Reynolds found the back of the net. Whitcomb was kept busy, making 29 saves.

Despite the same 1-1-1 record as the Fury, the Canadian team advanced to the championship on points to play Spokane. If a head-to-head system was utilized, the Fury would have taken on Spokane.

"It was the first time we have been to a tournament that used points, instead of head-to-head," Edwards said. "I can't say I was too happy with it."

The Fury coach went on to say, "But it was good for us to go play some new teams and see how we match up talent-wise. It helps us play more competitively against our traditional rivals."

Also making the trip to Missoula were Jini Griffith, Casey Mills, Jody Zarkos, Heidi Ottley, Kelley Sinnott and Nancy Parsons-Brown.

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