Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New uniforms, same spirit in 7-6 OT win over Snipes

Nikolaisonsí hat trick, Thomsonís stops lift Suns

Express Staff Writer

Sun Valley center Jamie Ellison looks for a centering pass, watched by Gutter Snipes defenseman Jay Snell, during the Suns-Snipes series.

Wearing new red uniforms was a big treat for the Sun Valley Suns men's hockey team last weekend during the team's eagerly awaited two-game series with goalie Bobby Farrelly's East Coast Gutter Snipes at Sun Valley Skating Center.

Farrelly, 51, a big-time Hollywood director who lives north of Ketchum and enjoys playing hockey when here, generously provided the uniforms and brought along a full squad of 22 players. The Gutter Snipes wore new uniforms, too. The players mingled easily all weekend and the action was generally sportsmanlike.

It was a week of transition, with the Suns electing a new captain and assistant captains to lead them into the second half of the 2009-10 hockey campaign. Fittingly, those with the "C" and "A" on their jerseys contributed mightily to Friday's 7-6 Suns overtime victory.

Newly elected captain Vilnis Nikolaisons, the team's all-time leading scorer, scored a three-goal hat trick. His first goal, unassisted, erased a 4-2 Snipes lead and made it 4-3 in the second. His second goal, also unassisted, tied the game 6-6 with 35 seconds left and goalie Ryan Thomson off the ice in favor of an extra attacker.

Nikolaisons' 11th career hat trick was the game winner, 2:15 into the five-minute OT, after hard work by Ryan "Rico" Enrico freed up the puck and Vilnis skated in alone. Enrico won a battle with two bigger Snipes' defensemen at the East Coast blue line as the Suns changed lines in the four-on-four format.

"Rico did everything to make that play happen," said 12th-year right wing Nikolaisons. "He was at the end of his shift, and I had just come out on the ice and was 20 feet behind him. No one else was going for the puck so I did and took it in."

At Wednesday's Suns practice, seventh-year players Enrico and goalie Thomson had been voted assistant captains and wore the "A" for the first time Friday night. If Enrico played a big role in the victory, so did Thomson. He faced a volley of 56 shots in 62 minutes and stopped all five Gutter Snipes shots in overtime.

"Ryan Thomson was the only reason we had a chance to win that game," said Nikolaisons. "He made some huge saves, and everybody else played solid in front of him."

Thomson (50 saves), recording his 50th Suns victory, really came up big in the second period when the Suns were in danger of falling way behind a Gutter Snipes squad filled with Eastern college hockey alumni.

The 5-8 target from Arizona flicked out his right pad and steered away a shot by Brown University's Scott Humber midway through the second, with the Suns trailing 4-3.

Forty seconds later, Thomson robbed Dartmouth's Billy Kelleher on a rebound, then, with nine seconds left in the second, Thomson took a goal away from Boston College's Mike McCarthy to keep it 4-4.

After battling back all game, the Suns actually took a 5-4 lead in the third period on a very pretty passing play started in the Suns end on a breakout pass by defenseman Ivars Muzis. Third-year forward Cody Proctor carried the puck down the right wing and made a perfect centering pass to Trevor Thomas, who scored his first goal of the season.

Proctor worked exceedingly hard for the Suns during the off-season and is currently enjoying his best season on the ice. He rated serious consideration for an "A" on his jersey, so it was appropriate that he came through with a big assist.

In addition, local product Matt Ward scored a goal in each game and earned with the prestigious "George Jacket."

Saturday's game was all Gutter Snipes, from Kelleher's goal 11 seconds into the game to his power play tally early in the third period. The Snipes won 11-6 and finished the weekend with a 113-87 shots advantage over the Suns. Farrelly (41 saves) played well in the net.

"Bobby played real well Saturday. That made the difference," said Nikolaisons.

About his team, the captain said, "We all tried hard, but nothing happened and we had no chance. We couldn't make the plays." Defensemen Eric Demment and Jeremy Mylymok each scored two goals.

In its fifth season, the Suns-Snipes 10-game series is now dead even at five wins apiece. The Suns have scored 64 goals and the Snipes 65. Four of the games have gone to overtime, each team winning twice.

The Suns have two weeks off and resume play Feb. 12-13 against the Missoula (Mt.) Cutthroats.

Suns Hockey Summary


friday, JANUARY 22

EC Gutter Snipes 2 2 2 0 6
Sun Valley Suns 2 2 2 1 7

FIRST PERIOD—(1) SV, Jamie Ellison 4 (Jon Duval), 2:34. (2) East Coast, Nick Sinerate (Scott Winkler, Jeff Norton), 5:57, power play goal. (3) SV, Duval 4 (Ellison, Vilnis Nikolaisons), 6:32. (4) East Coast, Norton (Frank O'Brien), 17:50.

SECOND PERIOD—(5) East Coast, Billy Kelleher (unassisted), 4:29. (6) East Coast, Garrett Goggin (Scott Shaunessy, Norton), 5:13. (7) SV, Nikolaisons 8 (unassisted), 8:16. (8) SV, Matt Ward 2 (Kris Webster, Billy Tryder), 15:33.

THIRD PERIOD—(9) SV, Trevor Thomas 1 (Cody Proctor, Ivars Muzis), 7:51. (10) East Coast, Matt McCarthy (Mike McCarthy, Kelleher), 8:18. (11) East Coast, Scott Humber (unassisted), 9:46. (12) SV, Nikolaisons 9 (unassisted), 19:25.

OVERTIME (5 minutes, 4-on-4)—(13) SV. Nikolaisons 10 (Ryan Enrico), 2:15, hat trick and game-winning goal.

SHOTS ON GOAL—East Coast, 17-17-17-5 for 56; Sun Valley 12-14-12-2 for 40.

GOALIES—East Coast, Bobby Farrelly (40 minutes, 26 shots, 22 saves, 4 goals) and Billy Cook (22 minutes, 14 shots, 11 saves, 3 goals); Sun Valley, Ryan Thomson (62 minutes, 50 saves, 6-2-0 record).

OFFICIALS—Bobby Noyes and John Heinrich.

NOTES—It was the 11th career hat trick for Vilnis Nikolaisons but his first since the Latvian scored a Suns career-best four goals in an 12-5 Suns win over Team Utah Feb. 16, 2008......Ketchum's Billy Cook was the Gutter Snipes back-up goalie. He got the call for the third period and overtime. And Cook played well, making 11 saves in 22 minutes and robbing Ivars Muzis and Vilnis Nikolaisons with his pads in the third period......Sometimes the breaks go your way on the sheet. Nikolaisons has watched his share of great chances go flying past the net, near misses, but he got a couple of breaks on his first two goals tonight. The first was a bank shot off a Snipes player from the back of the East Coast net. The second was the equalizer. Unchecked along the right wing, Vilnis started skating toward the net and just threw a shot toward the goal. It went in, sending the Suns to overtime.......Seventh-year goalie Ryan Thomson, (50-21-0, 10-8-0 OT) has played in goal in 18 of the last 20 Suns overtime games. The Suns are now 34-29-20 in 83 overtime games over 35 seasons (7-11 in 18 shootouts since 1998. Here is a list of game-winning OT scorers in Suns history: Ryan Enrico 3, Jamie Ellison 3, Vilnis Nikolaisons 2, Paul Baranzelli 2, John Finnegan 2, Kurt Wenzell 2, Phil Hoene 2, Paul Cartmill 2, Adam Swain 1, Jeremy Mylymok 1, Eric Demment 1, Luke Smith 1, Brian Watts 1, Tom Forti 1, Dale Johnson 1, Mark Broz 1, Pat Kearney 1, Rip Kirby 1, Terry Heneghan 1, Chas Riopel 1, Brian Saksa 1, Beets Johnson 1, Phil Hebert 1 and Sean O'Connell 1.......Leading way for the Gutter Snipes was Jeff Norton, 44, a 6-2, 200-pound Massachusetts native who played 797 NHL games from 1987-2002 for eight different teams, most prominently the New York Islanders, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues and Edmonton Oilers. Norton played three years at the University of Michigan from 1984-87 and was a member of the U.S. Olympic hockey team at Calgary in 1988. Once, the Cushing Academy product was checked through the glass by Trevor Linden....Returning for the Snipes this year was Billy Kelleher from North Reading, Mass., a senior captain for Dartmouth College in 1996 and the Big Green's second-leading scorer in 1993. He is still Dartmouth's seventh-leading all-time assists man with 76 in 115 games. Back with the Snipes was Andy Pearsall, 35, a 6-2, 180-pounder from Sandwich on Cape Cod who played 104 games with 20 goals and 70 points for Salem State College from 1995-99.......Gutter Snipes goalie Bobby Farrelly, 51, who lives north of Ketchum, comes from Cumberland, R.I. and went to RPI on a hockey scholarship. He and his older brother Peter made their first feature film, "Dumb and Dumber," in 1994 and have since made movies like "There's Something About Mary," "Kingpin," "Shallow Hal," and "Fever Pitch.".....Other notable Gutter Snipes included Dan Ronan, Garret Overlock, Nick Sinerate, Scott Shaunessy and Scott Humber.....Stay-at-home defenseman Ronan, 34, from Woburn, Mass., played 155 games for Boston University from 1995-99 followed by three minor league seasons. The BU assistant captain his senior year, Ronan and his brother Keith ran a business using broken hockey sticks and turning them into furniture. Ronan's former roommate at BU was Travis Roy, who was paralyzed from the neck down 11 seconds into his first college hockey game in 1995. Ronan played for the BU alumni team against the Boston College alumni Jan. 6 on the outdoor sheet at Fenway Park. Each player donated $300 for an hour of ice time, with proceeds partially benefiting the Travis Roy Foundation....Another BU alumni playing in that not-for-the-public game was Scott Shaunessy, who celebrated his 46th birthday Friday at Sun Valley. Shaunessy, a 6-4, 210-pounder from Newport, R.I., played 152 games for the Terriers from 1983-87 with 19 goals and 72 assists. He had a cup of coffee with the NHL Quebec Nordiques and skated in the minor leagues until 1999....Mike McCarthy of Boston College, probably the quickest player on the ice this weekend, also was on the roster for that Jan. 6 Fenway Park game.....Meanwhile, Snipes defenseman Garret Overlock, 25, from Greenwich, Ct., skated for Dartmouth College for 116 games with 47 points from 2002-06 and was senior assistant captain. He was a member of Dartmouth's 100th anniversary team in 2006....Forward Nick Sinerate, a 6-3, 210-pound left wing from Northboro, Mass., was a Providence College player from 1994-96 who also skated for the WPHL Amarillo Rattlers.....And Snipes forward Scott Humber, 36, from Ontario, Canada, played for Brown University in 1993....Suns forward lines were Jon Duval-Jamie Ellison-Vilnis Nikolaisons, Ryan Enrico-Blake Jenson-Cody Proctor, Matt Ward-Charles Friedman-Billy Tryder, Taylor Rothgeb-Cooper Miller-Noah Loyd. The defensemen were Trevor Thomas, Josh Jacobson, Ivars Muzis, Kris Webster and Zak Greenawalt. Back-up goalie for tonight's Sawtooth Pony Club benefit was Mat Gershater......Prior to tonight, the Suns had lost two OT games this season and were 2-2 in extra sessions last winter. The last Suns OT win was 5-3 in a Feb. 27, 2009 overtime shootout over Seattle Indians, Ryan Enrico tallying the decisive goal.

GUTTER SNIPES 11, suns 6


EC Gutter Snipes 4 5 2 11
Sun Valley Suns 1 4 1 6

FIRST PERIOD—(1) East Coast, Billy Kelleher (Mike McCarthy), 0:11. (2) East Coast, Jack Smith (Tony Trase, Frank O'Brien), 1:56. (3) East Coast, Scott Humber (Jay Snell), 6:50. (4) East Coast, Nick Sinerate (Jeff Norton, Jeff Abelli), 10:33. (5) SV, Eric Demment 4 (Taylor Rothgeb, Trevor Thomas), 11:23.

SECOND PERIOD—(6) East Coast, Trase (unassisted), 0:57. (7) SV, Jeremy Mylymok 2 (Jon Duval, Vilnis Nikolaisons), 4:08. (8) East Coast, Matt McCarthy (Kelleher, Garret Overlock), 8:07. (9) SV, Demment 5 (Duval, Jamie Ellison), 9:06. (10) East Coast, Sinerate (Humber), 9:57. (11) East Coast, Humber (Abelli), 13:32. (12) SV, Mylymok 3 (Cody Proctor, Demment), 16:20, power play goal. (13) SV, Charles Friedman 2 (Demment, Mylymok), 17:52, power play goal. (14) East Coast, Smith (unassisted), 19:45.

THIRD PERIOD—(15) East Coast, Mike McCarthy (Kelleher, Matt McCarthy), 0:37. (16) East Coast, Kelleher (Mike McCarthy), 4:58, power play goal. (17) SV, Matt Ward 3 (Blake Jenson, Rothgeb), 12:48.

SHOTS ON GOAL—East Coast, 18-19-20 for 57; Sun Valley 14-15-18 for 47.

GOALIES—East Coast, Bobby Farrelly (41 saves); Sun Valley, Ryan Thomson (30 minutes, 34 shots, 28 saves, 6 goals, 6-3-0 record) and Tony Benson (30 minutes, 23 shots, 18 saves, 5 goals).

OFFICIALS—Eric Wingard and Pat Ballou.

NOTES—The play was generally clean, but the teams started getting on each other's nerves tonight. Boston University's 6-4 Scott Shaunessy and former Idaho Steelhead Jeremy Mylymok drew fighting majors in the third period, then Sun Valley's Josh Jacobson and Garrett Goggin of the Snipes had a pushing match six minutes later.....Sun Valley's Dawn Peterson visited Minnesota recently and reported that former Suns scoring great Dave Reichel is doing the KCML FM 99.9 radio announcing for the St. Cloud State men's ice hockey team. Reichel was an All-American for the SCSU Huskies, where he still holds the records for most career assists (73 from 1975-79) and most single-season assists (30 in 1977-78). For three seasons, he was St. Cloud State's scoring leader, then he came to Sun Valley where he had 83 goals and 92 assists for 175 points in just three winters......Third-year Suns forward Cody Proctor has 14 points this season, equaling his total points for his first two Suns campaigns....Captain Vilnis Nikolaisons (169 goals career) topped the Suns with 3 goals and 2 assists for the weekend, and now leads the team with 10 goals and 12 assists in 10 games.....Leading Snipes scorer was Billy Kelleher with 3 goals and 3 assists in the two games.....Four different Snipes had two-goal games tonight: Nick Sinerate, Kelleher, Scott Humber and Jack Smith......Suns forward lines were Jon Duval-Jamie Ellison-Vilnis Nikolaisons, Cody Proctor-Matt Ward-Blake Jenson, Taylor Rothgeb-Charles Friedman-Billy Tryder, with Noah Loyd and Cooper Miller filling in. The defensemen were Eric Demment, Jeremy Mylymok, Trevor Thomas, Josh Jacobson, Ivars Muzis, Kris Webster and Zak Greenawalt. East Coast used four forward lines: Matt McCarthy-Billy Kelleher-Mike McCarthy, Garrett Goggin-Scott Winkler-Dan Daly, Jack Smith-Frank O'Brien-Tony Trase, Scott Humber-Nick Sinerate-Jeff Abelli. The defensemen were Jeff Norton-Dan Ronan, Andy Pearsall-Jay Snell, Scott Shaunessy-Garret Overlock. Bobby Farrelly played the entire game in goal. Back-up goalie for the visitors was Chris Edwards....The Suns have never scored fewer than four goals in any of the 10 games with the Gutter Snipes since 2006. But tonight's 11 Snipes goals represented the single-game high for a rivalry that has featured a total 129 goals, for an average combined total of nearly 13 goals a game.....In each of the last three winters, the Suns-Snipes two-game series ended the Suns winter season.....Tonight's game was a benefit for the Atkinson Park Penguins skating program.......Longtime Suns benefactor George Gund III attended the game.....

SUNS 6, moto ice 4

friday, JANUARY 15

Vancouver Moto Ice 2 2 0 4
Sun Valley Suns 2 1 3 6

FIRST PERIOD—(1) Vancouver, Derek Franco (Sean Peach), 4:56. (2) SV, Blake Jenson 4 (Cody Proctor), 5:46. (3) Vancouver, Franco (Steve Bordt, Mike Savoy), 13:00. (4) SV, Jon Duval 2 (Jeremy Mylymok), 18:26.

SECOND PERIOD—(5) Vancouver, Darren Alleen (Stephan Sigalet), 3:10. (6) SV, Jamie Ellison 1 (Vilnis Nikolaisons, Duval), 12:15. (7) Vancouver, Mike Rossa (David Kevapih, Sigalet), 16:47.

THIRD PERIOD—(8) SV, Ryan Enrico 4 (Trevor Thomas), 1:33. (9) SV, Nikolaisons 6 (Mylymok, Ellison), 5:03, power play goal. (10) SV, Matt Ward 1 (Billy Tryder), 14:33.

SHOTS ON GOAL—Vancouver 11-9-7 for 27; Sun Valley 19-19-17 for 55.

GOALIES—Vancouver, Mike Bogdanovich (49 saves); Sun Valley, Ryan Thomson (23 saves, 4-2-0 record).

OFFICIALS—Chris Benson and Eric Wingard.

SUNS 9, moto ice 4


Vancouver Moto Ice 3 1 0 4

Sun Valley Suns

3 4 2 9

FIRST PERIOD—(1) SV, Jamie Ellison 2 (unassisted), 0:06. (2) Vancouver, Derek Franco (Shaun Gerry, Steve Adler), 1:31. (3) Vancouver, Steve Bordt (David Kevapih), 7:21. (4) SV, Jeremy Mylymok 1 (Sinjin Thomas, Taylor Rothgeb), 9:16. (5) Vancouver, Brian Herbert (goalie Mike Bogdanovich), 12:40. (6) SV, Ryan Enrico 5 (Cody Proctor, Trevor Thomas), 14:18.

SECOND PERIOD—(7) Vancouver, Mike Rossa (Mark Osavitsky), 1:46, power play goal. (8) SV, Vilnis Nikolaisons 7 (Ellison), 5:41, power play goal. (9) SV, Ellison 3 (Nikolaisons, Jon Duval), 6:13. (10) SV, Enrico 6 (Proctor), 6:50. (11) SV, Duval 3 (Nikolaisons, Ellison), 8:09.

THIRD PERIOD—(12) SV, Blake Jenson 5 (Nikolaisons), 1:08. (13) SV, Proctor 5 (Mylymok), 13:58.

SHOTS ON GOAL—Vancouver 11-10-12 for 33; Sun Valley 23-19-11 for 53.

GOALIES—Vancouver, Mike Bogdanovich (44 saves); Sun Valley, Ryan Thomson (29 saves, 5-2-0 record).

OFFICIALS—John Heinrich and John Olson.

2009-10 Sun Valley Suns

(7-3-0 overall: 7-3-0 home)

Vilnis Nikolaisons 10 10 12 22 4
Blake Jenson 10 5 9 14 4
Cody Proctor 10 5 9 14 4
Jamie Ellison 9 4 10 14 8
Jon Duval 10 4 9 13 4
Ryan Enrico 7 6 4 10 0
Eric Demment 7 5 5 10 18
Jordan Pritchett 2 4 3 7 2
Jeremy Mylymok 3 3 4 7 7
Charles Friedman 7 2 4 6 0
Trevor Thomas 10 1 4 5 10
Josh Jacobson 9 1 4 5 6
Taylor Rothgeb 10 0 5 5 0
John Stevens 5 3 1 4 0
Ivars Muzis 9 2 2 4 8
Ryan McDonald 2 1 3 4 0
Matt Ward 5 3 0 3 2
Chris Warrington 4 2 1 3 0
Sinjin Thomas 3 1 1 2 2
John Miller 2 1 1 2 4
Billy Tryder 4 0 2 2 0
Bryan Winkler 1 1 0 1 0
Bobby Sloper 5 1 0 1 0
Noah Loyd 8 0 1 1 0
Colby Stoecklein 1 0 1 1 0
Zak Greenawalt 8 0 0 0 4
Ryan Thomson 9 0 0 0 0
Blake King 1 0 0 0 7
Cooper Miller 8 0 0 0 2
Danny Ward 2 0 0 0 0
Tony Benson 1 0 0 0 0
Ryan Thomson 8.5 41 6/3/2000 4.92
Colby Stoecklein 1 2 1-0-0 2
Tony Benson 0.5 5 0-0-0 10

Shots—Thomson 355, Stoecklein 29, Benson 23. Saves—Thomson 313, Stoecklein 27, Benson 18. Shootout saves—Thomson 2. Shootout goals allowed—Thomson 1. Shutouts—Ryan Thomson 1. Empty net goals—0.

Opposition 20 17 10 2 49, 4.9
Sun Valley 18 24 22 1 65, 6.5


Two-goal games (7)—Eric Demment 2, Cody Proctor 1, Vilnis Nikolaisons 1, Jamie Ellison 1, Vilnis Nikolaisons 1, Jeremy Mylymok 1.

Three-goal hat tricks (or more)—Vilnis Nikolaisons 1, Jordan Pritchett 1.

Game-winning goals (1)—Vilnis Nikolaisons 1.

Power play goals (6-18, 33%)—Vilnis Nikolaisons 2, Jeremy Mylymok 1, Charles Friedman 1, Chris Warrington 1, Jordan Pritchett 1.

Power play goals (opposition): 6-27, (22%).

Suns shorthanded goals (2)—Vilnis Nikolaisons 2.

Shorthanded goals (opposition): 0.

Season penalty minutes: SV 98, opponents 70.


Total record: 7-3-0

Record in 1-goal games: 1-2-0

Record in overtime: 1-2-0

Games scoring 9 or more goals: 1

Games scoring 7 or more goals: 5

December 11 (H) Park City Pioneers 8, Sun Valley 7 (OT) 
December 12 (H) Sun Valley 8, Park City Pioneers 5 
January 1 (H) McCall Mountaineers 7, Sun Valley 6 (OT shootout)
January 2 (H) Sun Valley 7, McCall Mountaineers 2
January 8 (H) Sun Valley 5, Cache Valley Trappers 0
January 9 (H) Sun Valley 4, Cache Valley Trappers 2
January 15 (H) Sun Valley 6, Vancouver Moto Ice 4
January 16 (H) Sun Valley 9, Vancouver Moto Ice 4
January 22 (H) Sun Valley 7, East Coast Gutter Snipes 6 (OT)
January 23 (H) East Coast Gutter Snipes 11, Sun Valley 6

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