Who would have guessed that the Future Suns would have more power—as in power play success—than the Sun Valley Suns men's hockey team in last Friday's exhibition?
Future Suns, led by Wentworth College captain Joey Sides, reeled off three power-play goals during the 25-minute second half and won the Suns-Future Suns exhibition hockey game 7-5 before a Sun Valley Skating Center crowd in a festive holiday mood.
Future Suns goalie Mat Gershater stopped 33 of 38 Suns shots and took the win between the pipes. The rare victory of youth over experience wasn't assured until Avon Old Farms skater Jordan Pritchett scored his second goal of the game for insurance with 57 seconds left.
After veteran Suns forward Paul Baranzelli put his team on top 1-0 with a power play goal, the Future Suns grabbed a 3-1 lead after one half on unanswered goals by Pritchett, Jeff Conover and Justin Taylor.
Sides, who grew up playing hockey on the backyard pond his father poured in Hailey, put the Future Suns back into the lead with his first power-play goal, then he broke a 4-4 tie with his second man-advantage tally on a pass from former Suns center Ryan McDonald.
Sinjin Thomas took passes from McDonald and Sides for yet another power-play goal and a 6-4 Future Suns lead with only 11 minutes remaining. Adam Swain of the Suns got one goal back for a 6-5 game. Pritchett put it out of reach with his second goal at 0:57.
Sides (2 goals, 1 assist) led the Futures on the score sheet. Other Futures with points were McDonald 0/2, Pritchett 2/0, Conover 1/1, Thomas 1/1, Taylor 1/1, Max Kwok 0/1 and Patrick McMahon 0/1.
Rounding out the roster for the Future Suns were Matt Alloway, Travis Amick, Spencer Brendel, Kyle Cole, Chad Levitan, Taylor Rothgeb, Danny Ward and Matt Ward. Coach was Andrew Hebert.
Suns scorers were Baranzelli 1/1, Gunnar Gladics 1/0, Ryan Enrico 1/0, Swain 1/0, Jamie Ellison 0/2, Vilnis Nikolaisons 0/2, Jon Duval 1/0 and Rian Timmons 0/1. Goalie Billy Cook stopped 23 of 30 shots.
Referee Pat Ballou ejected both George Jacket winner Duval (second time) and Nikolaisons in the second half.
Friday's game raised money for Sun Valley Youth Hockey's Brett Sammis scholarship fund.
Next, the Suns host the McCall Mountaineers for the annual New Year's weekend grudge match between the two Idaho teams Friday and Saturday, Dec. 28-29. Opening faceoffs are 7 p.m. each night.