Friday, December 24, 2010

As 2010 fades, Suns and Futures raise their game

Holiday hockey exhibition played for the kids

Express Staff Writer

Suns forward Ryan McDonald (black jersey) goes hard into the corner for possession during Wednesday’s Suns-Future Suns benefit exhibition game at Sun Valley Skating Center. Photo by David N. Seelig

It's probably what Alex Orb envisioned 34 years ago when he and other local ice hockey enthusiasts started the Sun Valley Youth Hockey program:

A vibrant youth hockey program packed with teams at every age level, all steered by the program's flagship—the Sun Valley Suns senior men's hockey team—and populated by coaches from the Suns.

Most of all, Suns trading cards! Well, the pioneers may not have envisioned the new Suns trading cards available in the hot-off-the-presses Suns 2010-11 yearbook, but the prospect of the Hailey Ice Park opening in 2011 is real and happening and pretty much a by-product of the original idea.

Ice hockey in the Wood River Valley has come a long way since the mid-1970s.

Wednesday night's Suns-Future Suns holiday exhibition game at the Sun Valley Skating Center followed suit with the whole concept of learning to love the game of ice hockey.

The Suns featured many players on the 2010-11 team who came up through the local youth hockey program. The Future Suns included most skaters on this year's Midget high school squad coached by former Suns player/coach Chris Benson.

All were out there on the holiday playing hard, skating fast and raising money for Sun Valley Youth Hockey's Brett Sammis Scholarship Fund.

The final outcome, 12-0 in favor of the Suns, didn't mean much in the scheme of things. It was significant in that 13 of the 27 points scored by the Suns were scored by ex-Sun Valley Youth Hockey players.

< Homegrown Jordan Pritchett (2 goals, 2 assists) and SVYH Squirts coach John Miller (4 assists) led the Suns scoring followed by Midgets assistant coach Ryan Enrico (2 goals, 1 shorthanded), Cody "Cruiser" Proctor (2 goals, 1 assist) and youth hockey alumni Chad Levitan (2 goals).

The Suns had eight different scorers and out-shot the Futures 55-29. Other point-getters were Taylor Rothgeb (1 goal, 1 assist), Vilnis Nikolaisons (1 goal, 1 assist), Michael Connor (1 goal), Trevor Thomas (2 assists), Matt Ward (2 assists), Caleb Baukol (1 goal) and Charles Friedman (1 assist).

Rounding out the roster were Ryan McDonald, Noah Loyd, Ivars Muzis and Blake Jenson, plus two goaltenders who split the playing time down the middle, Ryan Thomson (13 saves) and Mat Gershater (16 saves).

Future Suns goalie Cody Levitan saw plenty of shots and fancy passing and came up with 43 saves on the evening.

The Future Suns roster featured David Dredge, Patrick McMahon, Danny Ward, Doug King, Travis Amick, Justin Taylor, Niels McMahon, Jeff Emerick, Ian Murphy, Tony Martin, Charlie Evans, Spencer Brendel, Davis Hague, Sinjin Thomas and Tye Lampl along with two brothers of U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team skater Hillary Knight—Jamie Knight and William Knight.

A game summary follows. And don't miss Jon Duval's Q&A interview with filmmaker/goalie Bobby Farrelly in the new Suns magazine. Who could have envisioned the director of "Dumb and Dumber" becoming a pillar of the Sun Valley Suns community?

The Suns (2-0) continue their season Friday and Saturday, Dec. 31-Jan. 1 with a New Year's weekend series against the UC Utah Blizzard. The Saturday night game will be a benefit for Hailey Ice Park.

Hockey Summary

suns 12, future suns 0


Future Suns 0 0 0 0

Sun Valley Suns 4 3 5 12

FIRST PERIOD—(1) SV, Ryan Enrico (John Miller), 12:59. (2) SV, Taylor Rothgeb (unassisted), 13:44. (3) SV, Vilnis Nikolaisons (Miller), 15:38. (4) SV, Cody Proctor (Jordan Pritchett), 19:21.

SECOND PERIOD—(5) SV, Enrico (unassisted), 9:35, shorthanded goal. (6) SV, Michael Connor (Miller, Nikolaisons), 19:24. (7) SV, Chad Levitan (Trevor Thomas, Miller), 19:51.

THIRD PERIOD—(8) SV, Pritchett (Enrico, Matt Ward), 5:16. (9) SV, Caleb Baukol (Trevor Thomas), 7:35. (10) SV, Chad Levitan (Ward, Pritchett), 9:15. (11) SV, Proctor (Rothgeb, Charles Friedman), 10:04. (12) SV, Pritchett (Proctor), 13:13.

SHOTS ON GOAL—Future Suns 10-7-12 for 29; Sun Valley 17-17-21 for 55.

GOALIES—Future Suns, Cody Levitan (43 saves); Sun Valley, Ryan Thomson (13 shots, 13 saves) and Mat Gershater (16 shots, 16 saves).

OFFICIALS—John Heinrich and Pat Ballou

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