Building a 2-0 lead and finishing the victory off with two empty-net goals, Yoga College took back the Senior A” Hockey League’s Gund Cup tournament championship with a 5-2 win over Sun Valley Auto Club/Grumpy’s Tuesday night at Sun Valley Skating Center.
Pete Whitehead, Max Kwok, Will Hemmings, Tate Mills and Bryan O’Connell scored goals as Yoga College (8-6-0) captured its first Gund Cup tournament title since 2011, but its fifth crown in the last nine years.
They did it by beating defending champion Sun Valley Auto Club/Grumpy’s (5-9-0) with a 35-21 shooting advantage to wrap up the 33rd annual Gund Cup tournament. Yoga College goalie Billy Cook (19 saves) stopped all but two of the Auto Club shots.
After a scoreless first period, Whitehead struck for Yoga College early in the second period just as a Yoga power play expired. Brad Dredge assisted at the 3:41 mark of the 17-minute second stanza. Kwok made it 2-0 at the 15:10 mark on passes from Mills and Matt Mahoney.
Yoga College out-shot Grumpy’s 19-7 in the first two periods and appeared on the verge of putting it away.
Two-and-a-half minutes into the third period, Auto Club’s Pete Prekeges tipped home a Charles Friedman shot from the point trimming the lead to 2-1. Then, after Friedman kept a puck in the offensive zone, Rian Timmons equalized on passes from Prekeges and Derek Grimes.
Goalie Cook, not tested much in the first two periods, was suddenly under fire with the two rapid-fire Grumpy’s goals. But Yoga withstood the Grumpy’s firestorm and tallied the eventual game winner on a two-on-one with O’Connell feeding Hemmings for a 3-2 lead with five minutes left.
Mills made it 4-2 with an empty-netter with 1:21 remaining on the clock, then O’Connell got his own empty-netter from Brad Dredge to finish the scoring with 10 seconds left. Leading the Yoga College defense that shut down Grumpy’s was David Dredge.
The two finalist teams were no strangers to hoisting the Gund Cup. Yoga’s string of five titles in nine years started in 2006 and included back-to-back championships in 2006-07 and 2010-11. Auto Club has won four titles since 2005 and back-to-back crowns in 2008-09.
Hutch’s holds off Sharks in B+ Hockey
League-leading Hutch’s Bad Dogs subdued Sharks 5-2 in B+ Hockey League action Sunday at Sun Valley Skating Center.
Andy Bloedorn scored twice for Hutch’s Bad Dogs (10-2-2) with singles going to Richard Boullon, Dan Choma and Chris Salvatierra. Credited with assists were Tom Cahill and Shannon Flavin.
Ken Pratt and Ryan Baumgardner scored for Sharks (5-7-2), assists to Ted Kelley, Alan Dupuis and Shaun Kelly.
In overtime, Flounders (8-5-1) won 5-4 over Aardvarks (7-6-1). Flounders scorers were Pete Prekeges (2), Josh Green (2) and Will Hemmings. Assists came from Hemmings, Gunnar Whitehead, Terry Crawford, Jeff Ballou and Jim Slanetz.
For Aardvarks, goal scorers were Jay Hedrick, Chris Corwin, Maico Johnson and Wendy Speth, with Eric Wingard assisting.
Sun Valley Auto Club/Vipers (3-9-2) got back in the win column 3-1 over Lampl’s Garage (5-9-0). Dan Gralenski, Bill Sprong and Greg Townley lit the light for the Vipers, with Devan Annan and Chris Salvatierra assisting. Ned Burns scored for Lampl’s, from Clark Shafer.
League games for Sunday, March 9 are: At 6:30 p.m., Lampl’s Garage vs. Hutch’s Bad Dogs; 7:45 p.m. Aardvarks vs. Sharks; and 9 p.m., Flounders vs. SV Auto Club/Vipers.
The B+ playoffs begin Sunday, March 16 with three games. The second round of playoff games occurs March 30, with the Hutch Cup consolation and championship games pushed back to April 6.