Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Suns end year with a bang, sweep Rebels 4-2, 12-1

Aspen Leafs coming this weekend

Suns center Jon Duval takes the puck away from a Utah Rebels skater and sends it up the ice during Friday’s 4-2 Sun Valley victory on resort ice. Photo by Willy Cook

The Old Year ended with a well-played 4-2 victory and a 12-1 rout favoring the Sun Valley Suns senior men's hockey team over the visiting Utah Rebels Friday and Saturday, Dec. 30-31 at Sun Valley Skating Center.

A packed house enjoyed Friday's hard-fought 4-2 contest that featured goals by defenseman Eric Demment, 20-year veteran John Miller, Bryan Winkler and Jordan Pritchett.

Young Sun Valley Junior Hockey product Cody Levitan (18 saves) recorded his first Suns triumph as goaltender. And the Suns play earned accolades from coach John Burke.

"They're playing much better," said Burke, who used four forward lines to wear down the Rebels. "All four of our forward lines were solid and everybody went hard. And Cody played an awesome game as goalie.

"We've got enough speed this year so we can really attack on our forechecking. And I have to say their goalie (Utah's Kris North) was outstanding as well. All in all, I think our team has a great attitude and is ready to have a good season."

Friday night in front of the standing-room-only New Year's weekend crowd, the Suns out-shot Utah 55-20. Rebels goalie North (51 saves) made stop after stop to keep his team alive.

The score was still close at 3-1 early in the third period when right wing Pritchett provided the back breaker on a sensational passing play with his linemates Blake Jenson, who dug out the puck from the corner, and center Chad Levitan, who shoveled off a great feed.

Jenson (4 weekend assists) and Levitan (4 assists) each had solid weekends as the Suns out-pointed the Rebels 41-5 on the scoresheet. Eighteen different Suns players had goals or assists, and there were eight different goal scorers Saturday.

Right wing Bryan O'Connell led the scoring parade Saturday with a three-goal hat trick. Since joining the Suns last January, last season's leading Suns scorer O'Connell has four hat tricks in his 15 Suns games.

Miller and Blake King each added two goals Saturday as the Suns outshot the Rebels 47-20 and gave goalie Ryan Thomson (19 saves) his second win of the season. Defenseman Ivars Muzis (3 assists) pitched in, while veterans Ryan Enrico and Jeremy Mylymok each scored power-play goals.

The Suns outclassed Utah in both games, but the Rebel uniforms attracted the attention of many of Friday's rooters. The team's sponsor, Pinky Topless, caused more than one fan to ask, "Where are these guys from?" When they heard Utah was the answer, the reply became "It's a valid question!"

Sun Valley (3-0-0) remained unbeaten for the young 2011-12 season entering the upcoming series with the Aspen (Colo.) Leafs Friday and Saturday, Jan. 6-7 starting at 7 p.m. on resort ice. This weekend's benefit is Sawtooth Pony Club.

Suns Hockey Summary

Suns 4, REBELS 2

Friday, DECEMBER 30

Utah Rebels 0 1 1 2

Sun Valley Suns 1 2 1 4

FIRST PERIOD—(1) SV, Eric Demment 3 (unassisted), 9:14.

SECOND PERIOD—(2) SV, John Miller 1 (Taylor Rothgeb), 4:09. (3) Utah, Tommy Rupp (unassisted), 15:05. (4) SV, Bryan Winkler 1 (Blake Jenson, Jordan Pritchett), 16:46.

THIRD PERIOD—(5) SV, Pritchett 1 (Jenson, Chad Levitan), 4:18. (6) Utah, Rupp (unassisted), 8:43.

SHOTS ON GOAL—Utah Rebels 8-6-6 for 20; Sun Valley 21-19-15 for 55.

GOALIES—Utah Rebels, Kris North (51 saves); Sun Valley, Cody Levitan (18 saves, 1-0-0 record).

OFFICIALS—Chris Benson and Eric Wingard.

NOTES—Suns coach John "Cub" Burke used 4 forward lines starting with his #1 line of Ryan Enrico-Jon Duval-Bryan O'Connell, plus Blake Jenson-Chad Levitan-Jordan Pritchett, Taylor Rothgeb-Charles Friedman-John Miller and Blake King-Sinjin Thomas-Danny Ward. The defensemen were Ivars Muzis, Eric Demment, Zak Greenawalt, Trevor Thomas, Bryan Winkler and Jeremy Mylymok........Cooper Salvoni, 3, became one of the youngest ever shooters to win "Beat the Sun" when he scooped a shot through the hole with his father Frank Salvoni snapping a picture of the feat during the second intermission......Goalie Cody Levitan recorded his first win in the Suns net. Last year, he ended the Suns season between the pipes and dropped his first-ever start by a 9-6 count to Bobby Farrelly's East Coast Gutter Snipes....After tending goal for the Suns in Wednesday's exhibition game against the Future Suns, Farrelly was a spectator in the standing-room-only crowd tonight.....Tonight's game was coach Burke's last behind the Suns bench until the Missoula Cutthroats series Feb. 10-11. A PGA golf caddie for many years, Burke said he is gone for five consecutive weeks starting with the $5.6 million Hyundai Tournament of Champions Jan. 6-9 at Kapalua, Maui and the Sony Open Jan. 12-15 in Honolulu. Burke's pro is 41-year-old Minnesotan Cameron Beckman, a four-time PGA Tour winner who has struggled the last two years, making only 20 cuts in his last 50 PGA tournaments. Beckman is 426th in the World Golf Ranking.

Suns 12, Rebels 1

Friday, DECEMBER 31

Utah Rebels 0 0 1 1

Sun Valley Suns 4 3 5 12

FIRST PERIOD—(1) SV, John Miller 2 (Chad Levitan, Blake Jenson), 7:38. (2) SV, Sinjin Thomas 1 (Blake King, Danny Ward), 8:40. (3) SV, Bryan O'Connell 2 (Ivars Muzis), 11:42. (4) SV, O'Connell 3 (Ryan Enrico, Jon Duval), 14:57.

SECOND PERIOD—(5) SV, Enrico 3 (Muzis), 2:58, power play goal. (6) SV, Jeremy Mylymok 1 (Levitan, Muzis), 8:42, power play goal. (7) SV, Taylor Rothgeb 1 (Charles Friedman, Zak Greenawalt), 9:38.

THIRD PERIOD—(8) SV, O'Connell 4 (Mylymok), 0:58, hat trick goal. (9) SV, King 1 (Ward, Sinjin Thomas), 5:08. (10) SV, Trevor Thomas 1 (O'Connell, Enrico), 5:46. (11) SV, Miller 3 (Jenson, Levitan), 7:42. (12) SV, King 2 (Mylymok), 10:28. (13) Utah, Corey Joosten (Brandon Henrickson, Jeff Jiron), 16:49.

SHOTS ON GOAL—Utah Rebels 4-8-8 for 20; Sun Valley 18-16-13 for 47.

GOALIES—Utah Rebels, Kris North (35 saves); Sun Valley, Ryan Thomson (19 saves, 2-0-0 record).

OFFICIALS—Chris Benson and Pat Ballou.

NOTES—Sixth-year forward Jon Duval (32 goals, 66 assists for 98 points) collected an assist tonight and moved closer to the 100-point career mark with Sun Valley.....20th-year right wing John Miller had 3 goals for the weekend including a pair tonight to move into 21st place on the all-time Suns scoring sheet with 71 goals and 117 assists for 188 points....Ninth-year left wing Ryan Enrico (105 goals, 124 assists for 229 points) notched 3 points including 2 assists tonight to jump past Chas Riopel into 13th place on the Suns career scoring list.....Tonight's New Year's Eve crowd, with the benefit for Hailey Ice, was much smaller than Friday's packed house.....The Suns had 8 different goal scorers for the weekend finale. Sun Valley out-shot Utah for the weekend by a 102-40 margin and out-pointed the visitors on the scoresheet 41-5.....Top Suns scorers with 4 points apiece for the 2-game set were Blake Jenson, Chad Levitan and Bryan O'Connell.....

2011-12 Sun Valley Suns statistics

(3-0-0 overall: 3-0-0 home, 0-0-0 away)


Bryan O'Connell 3 4 2 6 4.0

Ryan Enrico 3 3 3 6 9.0

Chad Levitan 3 2 4 6 0.0

Blake Jenson 3 0 6 6 2.0

Ivars Muzis 3 0 5 5 2.0

Eric Demment 3 3 1 4 2.0

Blake King 3 2 2 4 0.0

Jon Duval 3 1 3 4 2.0

John Miller 3 3 0 3 2.0

Jeremy Mylymok 2 1 2 3 2.0

Zak Greenawalt 3 0 2 2 0.0

Danny Ward 2 0 2 2 2.0

Sinjin Thomas 2 1 1 2 0.0

Taylor Rothgeb 3 1 1 2 9.0

Jordan Pritchett 1 1 1 2 0.0

Trevor Thomas 3 1 0 1 15.0

Bryan Winkler 3 1 0 1 4.0

Charles Friedman 3 0 1 1 0.0

Scott Winkler 1 0 1 1 0.0

Ryan Thomson 2 0 0 0 0.0

Cody Levitan 1 0 0 0 0.0

Carl Jablonski 1 0 0 0 0.0

Ryan Skelling 1 0 0 0 0.0

Matt Ward 1 0 0 0 0.0

Cody Proctor 0 0 0 0 0.0


Ryan Thomson 2 5 2-0-0 2.50

Cody Levitan 1 2 1-0-0 2.00

Shots—Thomson 49, Levitan 20. Saves—Thomson 44, Levitan 18. Shootout saves—0. Shootout goals allowed—0. Shutouts—0. Empty net goals—0.


Opposition 1 3 3 0 7, 2.3

Sun Valley 8 6 10 0 24, 8.0


Two-goal games (5)—Chad Levitan 1, Eric Demment 1, Ryan Enrico 1, John Miller 1, Blake King 1.

Three-goal hat tricks (or more) (1)—Bryan O'Connell 1.

Game-winning goals (0)—D

Power play goals (2-8, 25%)—Ryan Enrico 1, Jeremy Mylymok 1.

Power play goals (opposition): 1-15, (7%).

Suns shorthanded goals (2)—Chad Levitan 1, Eric Demment 1.

Shorthanded goals (opposition): 0.

Season penalty minutes: SV 55, opponents 40.

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