Friday, February 10, 2006

Midgets best in Southwest tourney

SV high school skaters big winners in Utah

They're having an outstanding season on the ice, and they brought home another trophy Monday from a six-team U-18 tournament in Utah.

Posting three shutouts and outscoring opponents 31-6, the Wood River High School/Sun Valley Midgets high school hockey team won the "Best in the Southwest" tournament with five straight wins.

The young Suns dominated in Salt Lake City, with their 15 skaters amassing 80 points between them led by Chad Levitan (4 goals, 7 assists), Spencer Brendel (4 goals, 5 assists) and Travis Amick (1 goal, 7 assists).

Everybody contributed.

Head coach Andrew Hebert said, "We cycled the puck well in the offensive zone and dished it to the points opening up the offensive zone. The defense played well. We transitioned the puck out of our defensive zone and made few mental mistakes.

"The team is improving game to game. They are working hard and gaining confidence in each other—applying our practices to games."

Wood River/Sun Valley's 15-18 year olds opened up Saturday with an 8-0 victory over the Golden Spike Junior Wildcats from Utah. Kyle Cole scored twice and Sinjin Thomas dished out three assists (playmaker).

Later Saturday Sun Valley's three-goal second period (Michael Connor, Carl Jablonski on the power play, Amick) gave the visitors a 4-0 lead over Utah #1. Brendel added two insurance goals in the third.

Sun Valley advanced to the championship game with two hard-fought wins Sunday—by a 7-4 score over Utah #2 and 5-2 over Golden Spike.

The winners outshot Utah #2 40-15, but their lead was only 4-3 after two. Sun Valley then scored two goals in a 15-second span early in the third 15-minute period to break it wide open. Captain Connor scored on the power play and Cole added one.

Another early lead, this one 3-0 over Golden Spike, held up as Matt Alloway and assistant captain Thomas chipped in third-period goals. Levitan notched the playmaker.

In Monday's championship, goalie Regan O'Reilly stopped all 18 shots as Sun Valley blanked Idaho Falls 5-0. It was 3-0 after one period as Wood River outshot Idaho Falls 38-18. Brendel had two goals. Levitan, Danny Ward and Jason Heiner added single goals to the victory total.

Next tournament is the "Great Western Showcase," Feb. 18-20 back in Salt Lake City, followed by the Idaho State Championships in Boise Feb. 25-26. Coach Hebert, who is helped by assistant Cruger Thomas, said, "We have some difficult, high-level tournaments coming up."

"Best of the Southwest" scoring:

Chad Levitan 4 goals/7 assists (playmaker); Spencer Brendel 4/5; Travis Amick 1/7; Matt Alloway 3/3; Danny Ward 4/2; assistant captain Sinjin Thomas 2/4 (playmaker); Max Kwok 1/5; Kyle Cole 4/1; Jason Heiner 1/4; Carl Jablonski 3/2; Blake King 2/3; captain Michael Connor 2/1; Brandon Brocklebank 2/2; Pat McMahon 1/1; and Jeff Conover 0/1.

In 12 periods over five games, goalie Regan O'Reilly made 66 saves on 72 shots for a 92% ratio. Goalie Colby Stoecklein stopped all 15 of the shots he faced in three periods.

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