Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Suns Hockey Summary


friday, FEB. 16

New York St. Nicks 0 1 1 2

Sun Valley Suns 0 1 2 3

FIRST PERIOD—No scoring.

SECOND PERIOD—(1) SV, Jeremy Schreiber 3 (Billy Tryder, Charles Friedman), 11:49. (2) St. Nicks, Mark Turco (Keith Dupee, Mike Klema), 18:38, power play goal.

THIRD PERIOD—(3) St. Nicks, Jason Noe (Dupee, Jeff Brow), 3:00. (4) SV, Tryder 2 (unassisted), 7:50. (5) SV, Ryan Enrico 14 (Jamie Ellison, Vilnis Nikolaisons), 19:19, game-winning goal.

SHOTS ON GOAL—New York St. Nicks 12-9-9 for 30; Sun Valley 13-10-12 for 35.

GOALIES—New York St. Nicks, Pete Cohen (32 saves); SV, Ryan Thomson (28 saves, 10-0-0 record);

OFFICIALS—Referee, Tom Fischer; linesmen, Bobby Noyes and Eric Wingard.

NOTES—Suns fans could come up with only one comparable game this season in terms of sheer excitement, and that was the Jan. 5 Friday night contest against the Philadelphia Independence when Sun Valley stormed back from a 5-0 first-period deficit and won 6-5 in an overtime shootout......Tonight's scoreless first period was only the second 0-0 opening period of the 2006-07 season. The Suns and Jackson Hole Moose were scoreless in the opening 20 minutes of Sun Valley's 5-3 victory at Snow King Center Jan. 12....The go-ahead goal by St. Nicks early in the third period came right after Jamie Ellison was hauled down in the offensive zone, and no penalty was called....Suns goalie Ryan Thomson made a huge save early in the third period, about a minute after St. Nicks had taken a 2-1 lead. Thomson stopped Nick Shalek's two-on-one bid on a pass from Keith Dupee. Suns coach Chris Benson said, "Ryan made some huge saves tonight." Said Thomson afterward, referring back to his 12-9 shootout win over the Jackson Hole Moose Feb. 9, "The puck looked a lot bigger than last week. It was fun to have the guys playing a lot of defense in front of me.".....With the chance to ice the game 4-2 into an empty net, Scott Winkler somehow hit the pipe on a pass from Jon Duval with 22 seconds left in the game....The home team was assessed a delay of game penalty in the third period when an object appeared on the ice from the general direction of The Beer Garden. It could have been a factor because another Suns penalty gave St. Nicks a five-on-three power play, but the Suns killed it off and briefly maintained their 1-0 lead. Goalie Thomson stopped St. Nicks' Keith Dupee twice during the five-on-three.....Suns forward lines were Adam Swain-Ryan McDonald-Blake Jenson, Ryan Enrico-Jamie Ellison-Vilnis Nikolaisons, John Stevens-Jon Duval-Scott Winkler, and Charles Friedman-Billy Tryder-Paul Cox. The six defensemen were Chris Warrington-Paul Baranzelli, Jami James-Josh Jacobson, Eric Demment-Jeremy Schreiber .....Coach Benson was appreciative of the efforts of the fourth forward line. About Paul Cox, playing for the first time since the season-opening Suns series at McCall Dec. 1-2, Benson said, "Paul is a smart hockey player. He had a backhander that almost crept in for a goal in the first period.".....Cox said he encouraged Billy Tryder to just go in and put the puck in the net prior to Tryder's faceoff and 2-2 equalizer in the third period. "We didn't think he'd do it all by himself," said Cox, laughing with linemate Friedman about the fact that neither was credited with an assist on the critical goal.....St. Nicks brought only 13 players so they had only 6 skaters on the bench and did a lot of switching up with their forward lines. Among their line combinations were Jeff Brow-Brett Ozarowski-Jason Noe and Mark Turco-Keith Dupee-Mike Klema. Other forwards were Sotheby Chung and Nick Shalek. The St. Nicks defensemen were Martins Lans-Mike Morgan, Jim Morrissey-Erich Schram.....Suns benefactor George Gund III showed up in the second period and enjoyed the action for the rest of the weekend from the "Owner's Box," also known as "Cubby's Lounge," located at the far end of the rink.....St. Nicks boasted a bunch of former eastern college hockey players including Yale's Jeff Brow (second-team All-Ivy in 1999), Jim Morrissey and Mark Turco (Yale 1999) and Jason Noe (Yale 2002); Union College's Brent Ozarowski; native Latvian Martins Lans of Trinity College (2002); and Erich Schram (Amherst 2003)....Martins Lans and Sun Valley's Vilnis Nikolaisons, both from Latvia, caught up with the latest news in their native language after the game....It was good for local hockey fans to see veteran Suns defenseman Ivars Muzis (knee injury) up and walking around without crutches and feeling pretty good......There was a little talk this weekend about the Suns competing in the 2007 Labatt Blue/US Adult National Championships Full-Check Tournament Mach 29-April 1, 2007 at Fond du Lac, Wisc., but it's not certain at all if there is room in this year's Elite and US Adult tournaments there. Another option is the 2007 Labatt Blue USA Hockey National Non-Check Championship April 19-22 at Lansing, Mich.


SATURday, FEB. 17

New York St. Nicks 1 1 2 4

Sun Valley Suns 4 1 4 9

FIRST PERIOD—(1) St. Nicks, Jason Noe (Jim Morrissey, Brett Ozarowski), 3:58, power play goal. (2) SV, Ryan McDonald 8 (Adam Swain), 10:52, shorthanded goal. (3) SV, Jeremy Schreiber 4 (Vilnis Nikolaisons, Jamie Ellison), 17:42, power play goal. (4) SV, Blake Jenson 7 (Swain, McDonald), 18:44. (5) SV, Ryan Enrico 15 (Nikolaisons, Paul Baranzelli), 19:32.

SECOND PERIOD—(6) St. Nicks, Ozarowski (Erich Schram, Morrissey), 12:25, power play goal. (7) SV, Nikolaisons 9 (Baranzelli, Enrico), 15:31, power play goal.

THIRD PERIOD—(8) St. Nicks, Noe (Keith Dupee, Morrissey), 3:40, power play goal. (9) SV, Jon Duval 6 (John Stevens, Scott Winkler), 4:02. (10) SV, Paul Cox 3 (Billy Tryder, Chris Warrington), 4:38. (11) SV, Baranzelli 12 (Ellison), 13:07, shorthanded goal. (12) St. Nicks, Nick Shalek (Sotheby Chung, Ozarowski), 14:04, power play goal. (13) SV, Stevens 4 (Baranzelli), 15:14.

SHOTS ON GOAL—New York St. Nicks 18-17-16 for 51; Sun Valley 14-16-14 for 44.

GOALIES— New York St. Nicks, Pete Cohen (35 saves); SV, Colin Zulianello (47 saves, 7-0-0 record.

OFFICIALS—Referee, Tom Fischer; linesmen, John Heinrich and Bobby Noyes.

NOTES—Friday's game-winning scorer Ryan Enrico was awarded this weekend's "George Jacket.".....With two healthy goalies, the Suns enjoyed a much better situation between the pipes compared to when the two teams clashed last January. That weekend, St. Nicks swept the Suns 9-6 and 5-4. On the first night, Colin Zulianello (suffering from a sports hernia) actually removed himself from the game after the seventh goal and David Stone finished up. Ryan Thomson had suffered a knee injury while skiing the week before last year's series and didn't play at all, so John Bidon took the ice for the Saturday game......St. Nicks goalie Pete Cohen of Medfield, Mass., a two-time MVP at Milton Academy, was a Yale University goaltender graduating in 2005. The 5-11, 223-pounder is a son of former Boston College hockey player Jeff Cohen. Five years ago, he made a sparkling debut before 11,470 fans at Ohio State and beat the Buckeyes 6-2 with 30 saves, earning Cohen Ivy League "Athlete of the Week" honors....Also joining St. Nicks this weekend was Mike Klema, who skated for Yale from 2001-04. Klema and his younger brother David Klema (Boston University) played big roles for tiny Roseau High School, 350 miles north of Minneapolis, when Roseau blanked Hastings High 4-0 in a "Hoosiers"-like finish for the 1999 Minnesota State High School Championship before 20,000 fans in Minneapolis.......The Suns were 2-for-13 on the power play for the weekend and St. Nicks was 5-for-16. For the season the Suns are 43-for-120 (36%) on the power play compared to 23-for-142 (16%) for opponents.....Last year's Suns squad scored 119 goals in 24 games, and this year's squad has already scored 119 goals in 18 games.....Weekend penalty minutes were Sun Valley 46 and St. Nicks 30...Sun Valley (12 goals, 19 assists) outpointed St. Nicks 31-18 on the weekend scoresheet. The Suns had 9 different goal scorers tonight..... Leading the Suns weekend scoring parade with 4 points apiece were assistant captain/right wing Vilnis Nikolaisons (1 goals/3 assists) and defenseman Paul Baranzelli (1/3)....Sun Valley's fourth forward line centered by Billy Tryder had as many weekend points (5) as Ryan McDonald's second line (5).......Ninth-year wing Nikolaisons (136-227 for 363 points) moved into second place on the all-time Suns scoring list, surpassing Glenn Hunter (362 points in 18 seasons). Right behind is 11th-year center Ellison (133-226 for 359 points).....With the weekend sweep, the Suns improved their series advantage over St. Nicks to 6-3 including a 4-1 and 4-2 sweep in 1997 plus a 8-5 and 7-3 sweep in 1995. The teams played in February 1992 and St. Nicks won the Friday night game 7-3, but the Saturday night game was canceled because of compressor problems in the rink. And, of course, St. Nicks swept last year's series in Sun Valley by scores of 9-6 and 5-4......Following three days of competition and 137 games featuring 80 teams and over 450 players, the second-annual Labatt Blue USA Hockey Pond Hockey Championship came to a close last Sunday at Eag;e River, Wisc. Champions were crowned in each of the seven no-check divisions. "The concept of playing outdoors on a pond is what draws people to this event, but the atmosphere and camaraderie are what brings them back," said Ashley Bevan, director of adult hockey for USA Hockey. "Eagle River and its many volunteers once again did a phenomenal job hosting the event and helped make it a complete success." The second-annual Labatt Blue USA Hockey Pond Hockey Championship featured 80 teams representing 14 states from across the country, including Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Wisconsin DMP (Wakefield, R.I.) captured the Gold division, while Flying Wombats (Marquette, Mich.) took home the 21 & Over Silver championship and SNH #1 (Brownstown, Mich.) captured the 21 & Over Bronze title.

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