Friday, January 11, 2008

Suns greet Alberta skaters this weekend

Innisfail Eagles arrive for a pair

Suns forward Jon Duval (left) headmans the puck up the ice Saturday during Sun Valley?s 8-5 victory over the Utah All-Stars on resort ice. Goalie Billy Cook watches the play. Photo by Willy Cook

It should be a good weekend for senior men's ice hockey at Sun Valley Skating Center.

Two of the longest running senior franchises in North America clash for the first time when the Sun Valley Suns (5-1-0) entertain the Innisfail Eagles from Alberta, Canada.

Opening faceoffs are 7 p.m. tonight and Saturday, Jan. 12. Saturday's game is a benefit for the local non-profit Girls on the Run of the Wood River Valley.

The Suns (5-1-0), in their 33rd season on resort ice, will be hosting the Canadian Senior "AAA" Innisfail hockey squad that is currently in its 60th season. The Eagles play in the Chinook Hockey League, longest running competitive senior league in Western Canada.

Innisfail, a central Alberta town of 7,691 located on the Highway 2 north-south corridor between Edmonton and Calgary, was named by the Canadian Pacific Railway. Of Celtic origin, the name Innisfail means "Isle of Destiny."

The Alberta squad plays games from October through February and owned a record of 6-8 through the end of December 2007.

Sun Valley is excited about playing such a quality team, and Girls on the Run is excited about Saturday's benefit. This is the third year Girls on the Run is teaming up with the Suns fundraising nights, according to executive director Mary Fauth of Hailey.

A mini-exhibition featuring girls' hockey players and supported by youth hockey coaches and Sunsets women's players will take place at the first intermission Saturday.

In addition, a raffle Saturday will be held for two tickets to the Sun Valley Center's complete Summer Concert Series.

The visit of Innisfail will be the first of two consecutive weekend series offering highly-ranked men's senior teams.

Sun Valley entertains the Fox Cities Ice Dogs from Appleton, Wisc. Jan. 18-19. The defending Great Lakes Hockey League champion, Fox Cities is in the middle of a winter season that is geared toward competing in the 2008 USA Hockey National Elite Division tournament April 3-6 in Wisconsin.

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