SUNS 5, BULLDOGS 4 (ot)
friday, MARCH 9
Boston Bulldogs 1 2 1 0 4
Sun Valley Suns 0 2 2 1 5
FIRST PERIOD—(1) Boston, Mike Sadepour (Tyler Garrow), 11:22.
SECOND PERIOD—(2) SV, Ryan McDonald 14 (Blake Jenson), 4:53. (3) Boston, Steven King (Paul Stasiuk, Jay Snell), 5:07. (4) Boston, King (John Petricig), 9:00. (5) SV, Paul Baranzelli 16 (Billy Tryder), 19:16.
THIRD PERIOD—(6) SV, Jon Duval 9 (McDonald), 5:18, power play goal. (7) SV, Jamie Ellison 18 (Vilnis Nikolaisons, Eric Demment), 11:16, power play goal. (8) Boston, Kevin O'Malley (King, Petricig), 19:24.
OVERTIME (5 minutes, 4-on-4)—(9) SV, Ellison 19 (Nikolaisons, Jeremy Schreiber), 2:49, game-winning goal.
SHOTS ON GOAL—Boston 17-7-13-2 for 39; Sun Valley 21-12-16-3 for 52.
GOALIES—Boston, Bobby Farrelly (47 saves); SV, Ryan Thomson (35 saves, 15-0-0 record).
OFFICIALS—Referee, Scott Ingraham; linesmen, Curt Martin and Dave Patrie.
NOTES—Besides hockey great Igor Larionov, who was officially listed on the program and scoresheet as "Jack Smith," noted filmmaker Bobby Farrelly brought a very strong Boston squad of 17 players that was supplemented by local resident and former Suns skater Frank Salvoni and back-up goaltender Pete Prekeges. Suggesting that Farrelly was playing it close to the vest beforehand, not immediately revealing the identity of Larionov, former Suns Foundation president John Burke said that Farrelly had declared "Jack Smith" was his accountant..... Leading the way for the Bulldogs was captain Jeff Norton, 41, a 6-2, 200-pound native of Acton, Mass. who played 797 NHL games from 1987-2002 for eight different teams, most prominently the New York Islanders, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues and Edmonton Oilers. Norton played three years at the University of Michigan from 1984-87 and was a member of the U.S. Olympic hockey team at Calgary in 1988. The assistant captains were Kevin O'Malley (University of Michigan 2002, New York St. Nicks) and Steven King (Brown University 1991). King, 37, scored 56 goals and 33 assists in 104 games with the Ivy League Brown University prior to graduating in 1991, then he was signed by the New York Rangers and played 67 NHL games plus assorted minor league contests through 1998. King returned to Brown as an assistant men's hockey coach in 2000 and was hired in 2006 as executive director of the Brown University Sports Foundation. Other prominent Boston players playing on Sun Valley ice were Tyler Garrow from 100 Mile House, British Columbia, Canada (Brown 2000, St. Nickis); Sean Haggerty, 31, from Rye, N.Y. who played minor league hockey from 1995-2002 and ended up with the AHL Providence Bruins; and 6-0, 185-pound John Petricig of Cranston, R.I. and Avon Old Farms. Petricig (Brown 2001) was one of seven freshmen in the Brown University freshman hockey class of 1997-98 that included Suns captain Chris Warrington (Slatersville, R.I. and Phillips Andover).....Bulldog forward lines were Sean Haggerty-Igor Larionov-Kevin O'Malley, Paul Stasiuk-Steven King-John Petricig, C.B. Tuite-Mike Sadepour-Tyler Garrow, with Christian Lalande-Jeff Norton, Andrew Pearsall-Jay Snell and Greg Hayes-Reece Pacheco playing on defense......Suns forward lines were Blake Jenson-Ryan McDonald-Jon Duval, Ryan Enrico-Jamie Ellison-Vilnis Nikolaisons, John Stevens-Billy Tryder-Scott Winkler, plus a fourth line featuring Charles Friedman, Josh Jacobson and Trevor Thomas. The five defensemen were Chris Warrington-Paul Baranzelli, Eric Demment-Jeremy Schreiber with Jami James filling in ..The Bulldogs (54 penalty minutes tonight) were assessed 18 minutes in the third period alone by referee Scott Ingraham of Meridian. Boston's two best players, Jeff Norton and Igor Larionov, were ejected in the third period for having accumulated five penalties apiece. Ingraham asked a third Bulldog player, Tyler Garrow, to serve a delay of game penalty whistled at the same time as Larionov's fifth penalty and game ejection. Garrow elected to just skate off the ice and not finish the game. Suns coach Chris Benson acknowledged that the Bulldogs might not have known about the five-penalty game ejection rule, which might have accounted for Norton and Larionov's dissatisfaction and the game delay that accompanied Ingram's decisions. "Drop the puck," the home fans yelled as the deliberations surrounding Norton and Larionov's ejections dragged on.....Bulldog goalie Farrelly made 47 saves, none bigger that a skate save at the corner of the net on Sun Valley's Billy Tryder with five minutes left in the third period and the Suns leading 4-3. It kept Boston in the game so that when Farrelly skated off with 54 seconds left in regulation time in favor of a sixth attacker, the Bulldogs could apply enough pressure to tie the game 4-4 on Kevin O'Malley's equalizer. Suns goalie Ryan Thomson also made some huge saves including a stop on Steven King with 55 seconds left in the third, and another huge stop on King after the former Brown forward stole the puck in the Suns zone 1:22 into the five-minute overtime. Coach Benson said, "Both Bobby (Farrelly) and Ryan (Thomson) played great.".....Benson sensed the Boston skaters were wearing down in the third period so he switched up his forward lines frequently. "I was just trying not to get caught," he said. "I didn't want to turn a 40-second shift into a 1:30-shift.".....Benson said that Jon Duval's game-tying power-play goal early in the third period could have gone either way. Farrelly had made the save on Duval's first shot and had appeared to cover the puck, but Duval kept coming and poked it home about the same time as the whistle blew. "It was a tough call for the referee being on the other side away from the play," said Benson. "But you don't quit until you hear the whistle, and Duval never quit." Duval agreed with his coach. He said, "It was kind of iffy. He (Bobby) had it and I jammed it. Bobby wasn't happy about it afterward.".....Salvoni, who works for Farrelly locally, said the native Rhode Islander lives most of the time in Duxbury, Mass., on Cape Cod Bay near Plymouth Rock, and plays hockey a couple of times a week. Farrelly has also participated in producer Jerry Bruckheimer's celebrity hockey games in Los Angeles, Benson said. Added Salvoni, 39, about the Bulldogs, "It was an honor to play for such a diverse team. Words can't say enough. Actually it's an honor every day I can play."
BULLDOGS 7, SUNS 6 (ot SHOOTOUT)
SATURday, MARCH 10
Boston Bulldogs 1 2 2 2 7
Sun Valley Suns 2 3 0 1 6
FIRST PERIOD—(1) SV, Vilnis Nikolaisons 12 (Paul Baranzelli, Eric Demment), 7:29. (2) Boston, Paul Stasiuk (John Petricig, Steven King), 15:43. (3) SV, Ryan Enrico 23 (Baranzelli, Jamie Ellison), 16:28.
SECOND PERIOD—(4) Boston, King (Jay Snell), 1:48. (5) SV, Billy Tryder 5 (John Stevens, Josh Jacobson), 2:26. (6) Boston, Kevin O'Malley (Igor Larionov), 15:15, power play goal. (7) SV, Enrico 24 (Nikolaisons), 16:15. (8) SV, Blake Jenson 10 (McDonald), 16:36.
THIRD PERIOD—(9) Boston, Sean Haggerty (Jeff Norton, Andrew Pearsall), 16:13, power play goal. (10) Boston, O'Malley (Larionov, Haggerty), 17:51.
OVERTIME (5 minutes, 4-on-4)—No scoring.
OVERTIME SHOOTOUT—(11) Boston, King. (12) SV, Jenson. (13) Boston, Norton, game-winning goal.
SHOTS ON GOAL—Boston 9-15-11-5-6 for 46; Sun Valley 10-11-10-1-6 for 38.
GOALIES—Boston, Bobby Farrelly (32 saves); SV, Ryan Thomson (39 saves, 15-1-0-1 record).
OFFICIALS—Referee, Scott Ingraham; linesmen, Bobby Noyes and Eric Wingard.
NOTES—Vilnis Nikolaisons, now the second-leading Suns all-time scorer 34 points behind leader Bobby Noyes, scored the game's first goal on a great breakout pass by Eric Demment.....Jamie Ellison (19 goals, 26 assists) won his fourth Suns scoring title by two points over the team's 2005 scoring king, Ryan Enrico (24-19 for 43). Assists leader Vilnis Nikolaisons (12-29 for 41) was third as the three linemates amassed 129 points. Ellison captured three straight Suns scoring titles starting in 2000 (19-30 for 49) and continuing in 2001 (28-49 for 77) and 2002 (22-37 for 59).....In the rink were several very interested onlookers watching the Suns go for the program's first-ever unbeaten and untied record tonight. One of them was the Bulldogs back-up goalie Brad Dredge, who scored 18 goals for the only other Suns undefeated team, the 23-0-1 edition of 1988-89 that outscored opponents 174-67. Others included Tim Jeneson, top assist man on that unbeaten team (26) along with Glenn Hunter and linesman Bobby Noyes. Goalie John McCally (14-0-0, 2.64) backstopped the Suns to that unbeaten record and the leading scorer was Billy Claviter (26-22 for 48 with 77 penalty minutes). The last thing that 1988-89 Suns team did was hold a exhibition benefit for 16-year-old Muffy Davis of Ketchum, a local junior skier paralyzed in a downhill training accident on Baldy one month before.....Dredge brought a 1987 article about Larionov into the Bulldog locker room tonight......The Suns outscored opponents 166-109 for the season, a little behind the team standard of 211 goals scored by the 28-2 Suns squad of 2001-02....Tonight's "George Jacket" was given to coach Chris Benson, who guided the Suns to a 23-1-0-1 record and a franchise-record 23 consecutive wins. Fester will celebrate his 40th birthday on St. Patrick's Day, this Saturday, by going to the Big Apple and attending a New York Rangers-Boston Bruins hockey game at Madison Square Garden compliments of former Suns player Jimmy "Beets" Johnson. Fester will also watch the Pittsburgh Penguins battle the Rangers next Monday night......Five Suns players steered the sleds carrying Sun Valley Adaptive Sports kids around the ice during the moving pre-game national anthem ceremony. They were Jami James, Jamie Ellison, Billy Tryder, Trevor Thomas and Ryan Enrico. The game sent 100% of ticket sales or about $3,700 to Sun Valley Adaptive Sports, which has a "Rink Rat" sled hockey program......Until the third period, the Suns showed the resiliency that contributed so much to their successful winter season. They answered three Boston goals immediately. Enrico scored 45 seconds after the first Boston goal, Tryder capitalized 38 seconds after the second Boston goal and Enrico scored again, one minute after the third Bulldog score.....It looked like the Suns were going to escape Boston's power play late in the second period when defenseman Jeremy Schreiber took the stick out of Steven King's hands on a potential point-blank shot on goalie Ryan Thomson. But, 21 seconds later, Igor Larionov made an incredible play behind the Suns net. He noticed Michigan's Kevin O'Malley sneaking into position to Thomson's left. The only way to get the puck to O'Malley was by lifting it from nearly behind the cage, over the net. Larionov did just that, and O'Malley knocked it down into the net with a high stick. Referee Scott Ingraham didn't wave it off. He consulted with his linesmen and the play stood for a 3-3 game. One minute later Vilnis Nikolaisons stole the puck in the neutral zone and fed Enrico for a very pretty go-ahead goal........One other pivotal moment happened when Enrico's top shelf winner on the power play was disallowed because Bulldog goalie Bobby Farrelly dislodged the net just in time. That would have made it 6-3 midway through the third period.....The only Suns shot in the sudden-death OT period was a good slapper from the left wing side by Eric Demment, who got it from Jon Duval after a breakout pass bounced off the sideboards by Blake Jenson. Demment's shot bounced off Farrelly's mask and landed on top of the Bulldog net.....You could tell the Suns were a bit shell-shocked by the Bulldog comeback and the 5-5 tie. Anxious, the home team was the first on the ice for the OT faceoff, while Igor "the Professor" Larionov was still pointing to his players and lecturing on the Boston bench.....Goalie Ryan Thomson was superb stopping all five Boston shots in overtime. He robbed Sean Haggerty with his arm, stuffed Andrew Pearsall at the corner and denied John Petricig from the faceoff with 32 seconds left....Coach Benson tried his best to match up the Ryan McDonald line with Igor Larionov's forward line. And McDonald won his share of the faceoffs. Benson said about Larionov's line, "There were quite a few professional games on that line. I tried to get one of my top two lines against his, and spot in a third line."..... The main two Bulldog forward lines were Sean Haggerty-Igor Larionov-Kevin O'Malley and Paul Stasiuk-Steven King-John Petricig, with C.B. Tuite and Mike Sadepour along with Suns players Frank Salvoni and Caleb Baukol logging quite a bit of time. Defenders were Christian Lalande-Jeff Norton, Andrew Pearsall-Jay Snell, Greg Hayes-Reece Pacheco......Suns forward lines were Blake Jenson-Ryan McDonald-Jon Duval, Ryan Enrico-Jamie Ellison-Vilnis Nikolaisons, John Stevens-Billy Tryder-Scott Winkler, Trevor Thomas-Charles Friedman-Josh Jacobson. The five defensemen were Chris Warrington-Paul Baranzelli, Eric Demment-Jeremy Schreiber, and Jami James..The Suns were 0-for-6 on the power play tonight and 2-for-15 for the weekend. Boston was 2-for-3 tonight and 2-for-5 weekend. For the season the Suns are 56-for-162 (35%) on the power play compared to 26-for-173 (15%) for opponents.....Weekend penalty minutes were Sun Valley 24 and Boston 68...Sun Valley (11 goals, 15 assists) outpointed Boston (11-14) by a 26-25 margin on the weekend scoresheet...Leading the Suns weekend scoring parade with 4 points apiece was Vilnis Nikolaisons (1-3) while Steven King (4-2 for 6 points) topped Boston.....Right after the game and before they skated off the ice to their respective locker rooms, Latvian Nikolaisons asked Devan Ellison-Annan to snap a personal photo of him with Russian Igor Larionov. Vilnis said it was a big thrill to play against "The Professor. Fourteen years younger, Nikolaisons said about Larionov, "I watched him all the time while I was growing up. This is the first time I've met him and he is definitely the biggest-name hockey player I've ever played against. There was lots of respect there and lots to learn from. I watched his ability to skate and pass the puck. That's exactly my game, too.".....Vilnis' wife Cathy will deliver the couple's second child, a daughter, on Monday, March 19.......Ninth-year wing Nikolaisons (136-230 for 366 points) has moved into second place on the all-time Suns scoring list, surpassing Glenn Hunter (362 points in 18 seasons). Tying Hunter tonight was 11th-year center Ellison (135-227 for 362 points)..... Fourth-year Suns goalie Thomson (32-8-0, 6-2-0 OT) has played in the goal in eight of the last 10 Suns overtime games. He lost his first OT game 7-6 to McCall in March 2004 and then won six straight including Friday's OT victory. The Suns are now 5-8 in 13 shootouts since 1998, and 30-23-20 in 73 OT games over 32 seasons. Here is a list of game-winning OT scorers in Suns history: Jamie Ellison 3, Paul Baranzelli 2, John Finnegan 2, Kurt Wenzell 2, Phil Hoene 2, Paul Cartmill 2, Ryan Enrico 2, Vilnis Nikolaisons 1, Eric Demment 1, Luke Smith 1, Brian Watts 1, Tom Forti 1, Dale Johnson 1, Mark Broz 1, Pat Kearney 1, Rip Kirby 1, Terry Heneghan 1, Chas Riopel 1, Brian Saksa 1, Beets Johnson 1, Phil Hebert 1 and Sean O'Connell 1....Ellison, with his game winner Friday, became the only Suns player with three game-winning OT goals.....Blake Jenson said he hopes to play hockey at an eastern college next winter, possibly Williams College where Eric Demment and Jon Duval both played......Coach Benson was appreciative of the fan support last weekend and all the way through the season. "It was a great, loud crowd both nights," he said. "We just had a great season. A lot of close games, but we also whipped up on some pretty strong teams. We're not anticipating losing anybody next year, except for Blake (Jenson), so it will be good to put down 23-1-0-1 as our record in the recruiting letter I'll make up. Our long-term goal is to go to the national tournament.".......