The plural of moose is moose, and twice is how many times the Sun Valley Suns senior men's hockey team will suit up and skate out against arch-rival Jackson Hole (Wyo.) Moose this coming weekend.
One of the biggest hockey series of the 2008-09 winter season will match a determined Moose squad (8-2-0 before last weekend's home series with Chicago Chargers) and a Suns squad (4-4-0) that is finally getting its early-season bearings.
The opening faceoffs are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 23-24 at Sun Valley Skating Center, part of a big Hahnenkamm weekend at the resort.
Playing with an inexperienced lineup and getting trounced 7-2 and 4-0 in their season debut at Jackson Hole Dec. 19-20, the Suns will be looking to change their luck in a getaway two-game series—before a two-week game break.
They needed a good tune-up before the Moose series and the Suns certainly had to be on their toes last weekend in their home series with the Langley (B.C.) Senior Chiefs from east of Vancouver, down the Fraser River toward Chilliwack.
Canadians as they were, the Senior Chiefs carried the fighting gene, but it didn't surface until Saturday's game when the Chiefs legs were like rubber and the Suns power play finally and inevitably got into gear.
Power play goals by Paul Baranzelli and Blake Jenson plus a two-goal effort by wing Ryan Enrico put the Suns over the top Saturday for a 5-3 victory. Goalie Ryan Thomson (38 saves) was very tough in the net. Langley netted three power-play goals and won Friday's game 5-2 with its goalie Scott Skolovy making 42 saves.
Check the Express Web site for a game summary from the Langley Senior Chiefs series and updated season stats.