Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Huge goal gives Vipers the Hutch Cup

B+ hockey winner by McCoy in close battle

The Vipers celebrate their Hutch Cup tournament win Sunday on resort ice. Kneeling, front, from left, Steve McCoy, goalie Karen Morrison, captain Jim Laski, Christl Holzl, goalie Eric Wingard and Bob Gordon. Standing, from left, John Heinrich, Tizz Miller, Mark Hutchison’s wife Nancy Mulroney, Scott Miller, Bill Campbell, Terry Crawford, Alex Baron, Baba Street and Gavin McNeil. Not shown is Gary Norbom.

It was fitting that Mark Hutchison's hunting and skating partner Steve McCoy scored the game-winning goal for the Vipers in Sunday's second annual "Hutch Cup" B+ Hockey tournament finale at Sun Valley Skating Center.

McCoy (4 goals tournament), who shared the Most Valuable Player honor with teammate Scott Miller, beat the goalie with a high corner shot on a

Vipers power play to provide the winning margin in a closely-fought 4-3 victory over the top-seeded Isles.

The season-ending senior hockey tournament is named for Hutchison, an avid "Rusty Blades" player and outdoorsman who met an untimely death last year after playing hockey at the Sun Valley rink.

In Sunday's finale, Miller scored the first of his two goals giving the #3-seeded Vipers (10-6-1) a 1-0 lead after the first period. Miller's second goal of the game and fifth of the tournament made it 2-0 in the second. Josh Green of the Isles (9-6-1) found a corner making it 2-1.

The Vipers answered immediately for a 3-1 cushion when Gavin McNeil tipped home the puck after a shot by Baba Street. Less than nine minutes remained, but the determined Isles still managed to tie it 3-3 on goals by Todd Avison and Crist Cook (shorthanded).

That's when McCoy punched home his game winner and the Vipers hung on to win 4-3.

Goalies for the championship game were Karen Morrison and Eric Wingard.

Sunday's consolation contest was a back-and-forth game that ended up in a 2-2 tie between the #5-seeded defending champion Hutch's Bad Dogs (5-8-4) and the #4 Wildcats (7-6-4). Rob Prew scored twice for the Dogs and Nic Thomas had two goals including the equalizer late in the third period for the 'Cats.

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