The scoring touch of Pamela Van Reesema and Wendy Speth was just too much for the Jackson Hole (Wyo.) Teton Passers.
Former Harvard University women's ice hockey player Van Reesema made her first appearance with the Sun Valley Sunsets a triumphant one last weekend during the 12th Ski Town Classic tournament at Sun Valley Skating Center.
Connecticut product Van Reesema (6 goals, 2 assists) combined with linemate Speth (8 goals, 3 assists) for 14 of 15 Sunsets goals as the home team ran off three straight wins and captured the three-team "A Division" with 7-3 and 4-3 victories over three-time defending champ Jackson Hole.
It was the sixth Ski Town Classic title in 12 years for the Sunsets, but the first since 2002 because of Jackson Hole's dominance in recent years.
Sunsets veteran Speth, an outstanding three-sport college athlete inducted into the St. Lawrence University Hall of Fame last September, made sure the Sunsets would return to the top trophy shelf Sunday.
She assisted on Van Reesema's power play goal with one second left in the first period, tying the "A Division" championship game 1-1. After the Sunsets fell behind 3-2 in the third, Speth equalized with a power play goal, from Jill Marks, with eight minutes left in regulation play.
The Sunsets didn't want a rerun of last March, when the Teton Passers three-peated with a 4-3 sudden death overtime win over the Sunsets. So Speth tallied an unassisted goal for her hat trick with 3:33 remaining to put the Sunsets ahead for good.
Speth had a four-goal game and Van Reesema added a hat trick in Saturday's 7-3 romp over the Teton Passers. In Friday's 4-1 opening-round victory over the Sun Valley U19 girls, VanReesema had two goals, Kris Miller one and Speth one.
Van Reesema, 26, a 5-7 star from Greenwich who played stalwart defense for Harvard from 1999-03, won the jacket for tournament Most Valuable Player and Speth was the championship game MVP.
Goalkeeper Karen Morrison (17 saves) was the bedrock in the back for the champions. Other Sunsets scorers were Lucy Chubb (0 goals/3 assists), Sheila Naghsh (0/2), Kris Miller (1/0), Jen Embree (0/1) and Nicole Perkins (0/1). Rounding out the roster were captain Sarah Benson, Christine Davis-Jeffers, Michele Hampton, Christl Holzl, Tizz Miller, Edith Wiedemann and Liza Weekes.
Winning the "B Division" championship Sunday was Utah Shadows 3-2 over Boise Wildfire. Taking the "C" title in overtime was Jackson Hole Venom 2-1 over Utah Vixens.
Three other Sun Valley women's teams competed but didn't have much luck. Last year's "C Division" winner Sun Valley Girls U19 were 0-3 in the tough "A" class. Ketchum Five Star Kitchen Designs went 0-3 in "B" Division and Sun Valley Twisters were 0-3 in "C" class.
Here are further details:
"A Division" scores were:
Sun Valley Sunsets 4-1 over Sun Valley Girls U19; Sun Valley Sunsets 7-3 over Jackson Hole Teton Passers; Jackson Hole Teton Passers 5-0 over Sun Valley Girls U19; Jackson Hole Teton Passers 7-2 over Sun Valley Girls U19; and Sun Valley Sunsets 4-3 over Jackson Hole Teton Passers.
Hoping to play in the "B Division" this year, the Sun Valley U19 Girls stood tall and proud and skated against some steep competition. The young local ladies, ranging in age from 12-16, played very hard against every one of their opponents.
Frannie Sensenbrenner scored the lone U19 goal in the 4-1 loss to the Sunsets Friday evening. Maddie Miller earned the assist. Goalie Emma Wilander (46 saves) had a very busy night between the pipes.
On Saturday, the U19 girls had to skate twice the runner-up Jackson Hole Teton Passers, falling 5-0 and 7-2. Devan Ellison Annan, who won the tournament jersey, tallied two unassisted goals for the U19 squad.
Game pucks for coach Dave Hennessy's young squad on the weekend went to Tate Reed-McDorman, Aimee Evans, Georgie Goodwin and Erin Hennessy. Other players were Nellie Brown, Mattie Griswold, Kelly Hennessy, Dylan Peterson, Daniela Stokes, Ellie Swanson and of course Wilander.
The Sun Valley U19 Girls considered the weekend as excellent training for the upcoming regional tournament in Boise March 28-30.
"B Division" scores were:
Boise Wildfire 4-1 over Utah Shadows; Boise Wildfire 5-0 over Ketchum Five Star Kitchen Design; Utah Shadows 7-2 over Ketchum Five Star Kitchen Design; Utah Shadows 7-1 over Ketchum Five Star Kitchen Design; and Utah Shadows 3-2 over Boise Wildfire.
Scoring two goals for Five Star was Kipp Mills while Erica Swanger added a single goal. Jody Zarkos assisted twice and Kelli Kerns added one assist. Goalie was Kerry Bozza.
Other Five Star players were Casey Mills, Bege Reynolds, Jeannie Kiel, Nancy Parsons-Brown, Lacie Hernandez, Dotty Sarchett, Heidi Ottley and Sara Shafer.
"C Division" scores were:
Boise Black Widows 3-1 over Sun Valley Twisters; Jackson Hole Venom 3-1 over Utah Ice Vixen; Jackson Hole Venom 3-0 over Sun Valley Twisters; Utah Ice Vixen 4-2 over Boise Black Widows; Utah Ice Vixen 3-0 over Sun Valley Twisters; Jackson Hole Venom 3-1 over Boise Black Widows; and Jackson Hole Venom 2-1 (OT) over Utah Vixen.
Although coach Johnny Ellison's Sun Valley Twisters out-shot their three opponents, the only Twister goal came off the stick of Tristan Ellison Gralenski, with assists from Sara Schroeder and Jennifer Biondi.
MVPs for the weekend were Biondi, Anna Scheinfield and Jennifer Schultz. Others skating were Laura Blash, Susanne Connor, Danea Commons, Lolly Greeninger, Linda McMahon, Dana Price, Laurie Sammis and Becky Stokes. The Twister assistant coaches were Janet Salvoni and Hank Balmer.