It was a Jackson Hole kind of weekend as the visiting Midgets high school hockey team (ages 15-18) from Wyoming won the Sun Valley High School tournament Sunday at Sun Valley Skating Center.
Jackson Hole (3-1-0) avenged a preliminary round 5-4 loss to Boise with a resounding 8-1 championship game victory over the Boise team Sunday.
The host Sun Valley Suns squad coached by Tim Jeneson and Dave MacMillan went 2-2-0 and earned fifth place by winning its final two games.
Jeneson said, “Every player from the top to bottom of the roster contributed and showed our potential when we play well. We finished with a solid game against Bonneville to go 2-2. Overall, our team defense was excellent.”
In Sunday’s first-place game, tourney runner-up Boise (2-2-0, 11-17 goals-against) played without its No. 1 goalie. He got a game misconduct and one-game suspension Saturday for a post-game altercation after Boise’s 3-1 loss to Sun Valley.
Third-place winner in Sunday’s series of three trophy games was Idaho Falls (3-1-0, 12-11 goals-against) by a 4-3 score over Skyline of Idaho Falls (2-2-0, 12-15 goals-against).
Sun Valley captured fifth with a 3-1 victory over Bonneville/Hillcrest of Idaho Falls (0-4-0, 11-18) early Sunday.
The Sun Valley defense backstopped by goalie Willis Sanchez-duPont (95 saves in 4 games) was particularly strong during the three-day, six-team tournament—the only home meet of the season for the Suns.
The Suns allowed only eight goals in four games, but had trouble putting the puck in the net with a tournament-low nine goals scored. Jackson Hole, in contrast, out-scored foes 20-6 en route to the championship.
Liam Jablonski (2 goals, 1 assist), Drew Barsch (2/1) and Eli Conrad (2/1) topped the Suns in scoring, followed by Riley Sibbach (1/1), Rickie Jeneson (1/1), Jack Swanson (1/0), Mason Noyes (0/1) and Erik Wilander (0/2). Goalie Sanchez-duPont faced 103 shots and made his 95 saves.
Friday night, Skyline outshot Sun Valley 37-25 and Sanchez-duPont (34 saves) had to be alert. The Idaho Falls sextet broke open a tight 1-1 game with two third-period goals and prevailed 3-1. Eli Conrad scored for the Suns in the second, assisted by Rickie Jeneson.
The young Suns led 1-0 and 2-1 over Idaho Falls Saturday, but the eastern Idaho skaters slipped two goals into the net during a four-minute span late in the third for a 3-2 victory. Brennon Witt got the game winner for Idaho Falls with 2:52 left in the third period.
For the game, the Suns out-shot Idaho Falls 30-18. Jablonski (Sibbach) tallied the first goal, and Barsch (Jablonski, Eli Conrad) punched home Sun Valley’s only power-play goal of the tournament.
Coach Jeneson said, “We came out flat against Skyline—a team we beat 8-2 in the Boise tournament our first game of the season. And we lost to Idaho Falls (the team we beat in a shootout to gain the finals in the Boise tournament) on a soft third period goal.”
After their two close losses, the Suns started on their comeback trail late Saturday with a 3-1 victory over Boise, goalie Sanchez-duPont stopping 20 shots. Eli Conrad (unassisted), Jablonski (Barsch) and Jack Swanson (unassisted) provided the scoring for Sun Valley.
“We played an inspired game Saturday night in front of 200 raucous fans for Senior Night,” said coach Jeneson. “It was a very satisfying win in front of our home crowd.
“Two weeks ago we had lost 8-1 to Boise with Kyle Mitsunaga scoring five goals. But we shut down Mitsunaga and the whole Boise team until there were only 58 seconds left.
“Mitsunaga has received a full ride to Division 1 St. Cloud State for 2014. He has been drafted by USHL Cedar Rapids Roughriders for next year.”
Sunday’s fifth-place game for the Suns against Bonneville/Hillcrest began with a scoreless first period.
But Sun Valley’s Sibbach (Noyes) broke the deadlock midway through the second and Barsch (Wilander) made it 2-0 late in the period. Jeneson (Wilander) buried a shot from the point for a 3-0 lead midway through the third stanza.
Bonneville’s Casey Hergesheimer broke up the shutout with two minutes remaining. Sanchez-duPont made 26 saves.
Here are the other preliminary-round scores:
( Boise 4-2 over Bonneville; Jackson Hole 3-0 over Idaho Falls; Skyline 6-5 over Bonneville; Boise 5-4 over Jackson Hole; Idaho Falls 5-3 over Bonneville; and Jackson Hole 5-0 over Skyline.
Wet weekend for U-14 hockey girls
Wet weather was more suitable for the swimming kind of salmon than the town, but the Sun Valley U-14 girls’ hockey team didn’t let the Salmon weather dampen their grit or guts. The resort team racked up a 1-2-1 record in its season-opening meet Nov. 30-Dec. 2.
Sporting a roster of 13 for the seven-team tilt, Sun Valley opened against eventual champ Salt Lake City—already with 14 games under its belt. And the Suns held strong, trailing only 2-0 at the end of two periods, but Salt Lake (4-0) tacked on three additional goals in the third for a 5-0 Utah victory.
Suns goalie Evi Johnson (21 saves) was awarded the game puck for stellar play.
Sun Valley then turned the tables on host Salmon, racking up 10 points in a 7-2 win. Game puck recipient Anik Zarkos tallied two goals and two assists. Wing Audra Mary stuffed two shots. Sophie Nasvik and Megan Johnston scored single goals, with assists by Sydney Roberts and Johnston. Evi Johnson stopped seven shots.
Game puck winner Roberts (game puck) played her first-ever game as goalie against Missoula A, making nine inspired saves in a 1-1 draw. Nasvik nabbed the first goal in the second period off assists by Johnston and Johnson.
Sun Valley finished off the round-robin tournament against Idaho Falls.
The Suns struck first on Morgan Benson’s goal at 13:38 of the first. The Eagles equalized less than two minutes later and netted the game-winner with 10:25 left in a 2-1 decision. Sun Valley out-shot Idaho Falls 13-11 but didn’t crack goalie Shaylee Shakel again.
Defender Abby Benson earned the game puck. She patrolled the blue line along with Abby Robideaux, Scout Hutchinson and Kasey Johnson. Taylor Hebert and Denali Stevens also logged valuable minutes playing wing for coaches Chris Benson, Eddie Grimes and Dale Johnson.
The next tournament for the Sun Valley girls is Jan. 11-13 at Idaho Falls. The Suns annual home tournament follows on Jan. 18-20 on resort ice.
PeeWees first at Salmon
Outscoring opponents 40-2, the SVYH PeeWee (ages 11-12) hockey team claimed the first place with an exclamation point in a four-team tournament at Salmon.
All the Suns cracked the points column including goalie Klayton Douthit (1 assist), who pitched a six-save shutout against Salmon.
The Suns also defeated McCall and Bozeman, beating the latter in the championship game 9-1. Goalie Andrew Nelson (1 shutout) had 14 saves.
Coaches Chris Zarkos and Jim Laski’s team featured Sam Ballard, Paxton Bunting, Ike Buxton, Sam Fenn, Luke Jannotta, Sam Laski, James Mahedy, Luke Marcoullier, Teagan McAvoy, Tiernan Naghsh, Barrett Ott, Flynn Stewart and Luke Worst.
The Suns travel to Jackson Hole, Wyo. for games at Snow King Arena, Dec. 15-17.
Squirts second in Idaho Falls tournament
The Sun Valley Youth Hockey Squirts (ages 9-10) went 2-1-1 and placed second in the nine-team Idaho Falls Squirts tournament last weekend. Park City (Utah) defeated Sun Valley 5-2 in the championship game.
Sun Valley started out with a 1-1 tie against Jackson Hole White, and then defeated Helena Blue (Mt.) by a 5-4 score and Ogden (Utah) by a 6-3 count. Fletcher Stumph (5 goals, 2 assists weekend) accounted for four of the 11 Suns goals in the two victories.
Scoring for Sun Valley in the title game were Ashton Tanner and Alex Daves, from Stumph.
Earning Sun Valley’s “game pucks” that were decided by opposing coaches were goalie Dakota Davis (twice), Stumph and Daisy Buxton.
Besides Stumph’s scoring, SV weekend scorers were: Daves 2 goals/1 assist; Tanner 2/1; Caelin Bradshaw 2/0; D.J. Gralenski 2/0; Buxton 0/1; Alex Lengyel 0/1; Seamus O’Connell 0/1; and Slater Whitehead 1/0. Other Suns skaters were Deke Burrell, Max Moss, Ryder Sarchett, Lachlan Smith, Colby Speth and Huck Sprong.
Guiding the team were head coach Sean O’Connell and assistants Peter Whitehead, Wendy Speth and Bill Sprong.