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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of December 24 - 30, 2002


Suns put Czechs 
in the bank

Ho, ho, ho…25 goals for Sun Valley

If you’re a member of the Sun Valley Suns men’s hockey team, you didn’t want to miss last weekend’s company Christmas party—because that’s when the gifts were unveiled.

Bringing glad tidings were the Portland (Ore.) Czechs. The Czechs had a couple of good players, but mostly they provided the Suns with some early-season target practice.

It was a weekend gift-wrapped with Sun Valley goals and assists.

Paul Baranzelli, who scored a hat trick Friday night, is a defenseman who enjoys sneaking up on an opposing goalie and hammering home a goal. Express photo by Willy Cook

Putting 25 goals on the scoreboard, the Suns (3-1) made the Czechs see red 9-3 and 16-6. And Sun Valley did it playing shorthanded most of the time in a two-game series filled with 127 penalty minutes—84 whistled against the host Suns sextet.

Special teams were the rule rather than the exception for the Suns, who scored four power-play goals and four shorthanded goals. Portland was on the power play an incredible 24 times.

The goals came in bunches.

On Friday, the Suns scored three goals in three minutes late in the second period, then tacked on three goals in two minutes early in the third period. Defenseman Paul Baranzelli had a hat trick in the third period alone.

Suns goalie Matt Gershater wasn’t severely tested, but he made two excellent saves midway through the game—with the Suns leading 2-1.

With his team playing two men down, Gershater absolutely robbed Brad Manchester of the Czechs in the slot. Not long after, the Suns scored three times and it became 5-1.

First-year defenseman Eric Demment made a big splash Friday with two power-play goals and two assists.

It was a 2-2 game Saturday night, then the Suns scored nine unanswered goals in a 15-minute span. They had two goals in just eight seconds, three in 19 seconds and four in 3:28.

Big Luke Smith, thwarted in many scoring bids Friday, seemed to make them all count Saturday. He had four goals, while rookie forward Frank Salvoni added a three-goal hat trick.

Scott Winkler, who staged a passing clinic with linemate Vilnis Nikolaisons all weekend, chipped in with a pair of shorthanded goals Saturday while Nikolaisons and John Stevens added three assists apiece.

To start the New Year, the Suns host Richtone Painting from Minneapolis (Minn.) Friday and Saturday, Jan. 3-4 at 7 p.m. at Sun Valley Skating Center. Tickets are $6.

Suns player/coach Chris Benson said Richtone Painting is bringing a more formidable team than last January, when the Suns ripped the Gopher visitors 11-4 and 14-5.


Suns 9, Czechs 3

Portland Czechs 1 1 1 3
Sun Valley Suns 1 4 4 9

FIRST PERIOD—(1) Port, Brian Folton (Greg Milles), 7:45. (2) SV, Vilnis Nikolaisons 3 (Scott Winkler), 11:04, shorthanded goal.

SECOND PERIOD—(3) SV, Eric Demment 1 (Ivars Muzis), 6:59, power play goal. (4) SV, John Stevens 1 (Ben Stauffer, Chris Benson), 15:00, power play goal. (5) SV, Luke Smith 1 (unassisted), 16:37. (6) SV, Demment 2 (unassisted), 18:16, power play goal. (7) Port, Dave Norqual (Marty Heim), 18:37, power play goal.

THIRD PERIOD—(8) SV, Paul Baranzelli 2 (Perry Smiley), 5:09. (9) SV, Stevens 2 (John Miller, Demment), 6:34. (10) SV, Baranzelli 3 (Frank Salvoni, Nikolaisons), 7:04. (11) SV, Baranzelli 4 (Smith, Demment), 17:36, hat trick goal. (12) Port, Milles (Tony Finney), 19:56, power play goal.

SHOTS ON GOAL—for Portland 10-10-12 for 32; for Sun Valley 15-20-20 for 55.

GOALIES—Portland, Dan Bliven (46 saves). SV, Matt Gershater (29 saves, 2-1-0 season).

OFFICIALS—Referee, Bobby Noyes; linesmen, John Heinrich and Curtis Martin.

NOTES—Suns forward lines were Matt O’Hare-Ben Stauffer-John Stevens, Chris Benson-Luke Smith-John Miller, Vilnis Nikolaisons-Scott Winkler-Frank Salvoni, with Caleb Baukol and Perry Smiley subbing in. Defensive pairs were Eric Demment-Kit Hughes, Ivars Muzis-Paul Baranzelli, Ben Niemela-Scott Carmack…Center Tom Forti was out-of-town for the holiday….It looks like Jamie Ellison’s shoulder injury will require surgery, which could put the three-time defending Suns scoring king out for much of the season….Ellison was a vocal factor from the balcony, however, assessing grades to the performance of his nemesis, referee Bobby Noyes. Grades like, "Nice call, ref," "Nice high stick, Bobby…didn’t see that?…Big surprise!"…Suns player/coach Chris Benson wasn’t thrilled with the 17 penalties Noyes whistled against the Suns tonight, but Noyes asserted that nearly all of the penalties were richly deserved….It was a parade to the box (42 penalty minutes against the Suns, 20 against Portland). The Czechs spent most of the game on the power play, with only 2-of-14 success. The Suns were 3-of-4 on their power play chances. Actually, the Suns looked pretty good shorthanded—Luke Smith had 3 or 4 great chances, as well as Winkler and Baranzelli…"Beat the Sun" winner at the second intermission was young Blake Jensen of Hailey, who goes to school in Lake Placid and apparently learned to whip that shot from midice from his stepdad, John Burke.


Suns 16, Czechs 6

Boise Blades 2 3 1 6
Sun Valley Suns 4 8 4 16

FIRST PERIOD—(1) SV, Salvoni 3 (Muzis), 7:09. (2) SV, Miller 1 (unassisted), 9:35. (3) Port, Norqual (Mike Weiby, Erik Hamlet), 10:59, power play goal. (4) Port, Weiby (Norqual, Hamlet), 13:40. (5) SV, Muzis 1 (Demment, Stevens), 15:39, power play goal. (6) SV, Winkler 1 (Nikolaisons), 17:32, shorthanded goal.

SECOND PERIOD—(7) SV, Nikolaisons 4 (Winkler), 0:33. (8) SV, SV, Salvoni 4 (Nikolaisons), 3:17. (9) SV, Miller 2 (Benson, Smith), 4:24. (10) SV, Smith 2 (Miller), 4:32. (11) SV, Scott Carmack 1 (unassisted), 4:43. (12) SV, Smith 3 (Matt O’Hare, Baranzelli), 6:45. (13) SV, Smith 4 (Caleb Baukol), 10:34, shorthanded and hat trick goal. (14) Port, Hamlet (Norqual), 13:15. (15) SV, Stevens 3 (O’Hare, Smiley), 13:27. (16) Port, Weiby (Folton, Brad Manchester), 16:45, power play goal. (17) Port, Norqual (unassisted), 17:12, power play goal.

THIRD PERIOD—(18) SV, Salvoni 5 (Benson, Stevens), 3:45, hat trick goal. (19) SV, Demment 3 (Smith), 6:01. (20) SV, Winkler 2 (Nikolaisons), 7:44, shorthanded goal. (21) SV, Smith 5 (Stevens, Miller), 11:52. (22) Port, Finney (Folton), 16:40, power play goal.

SHOTS ON GOAL—for Portland 13-12-13 for 38; for Sun Valley 20-23-11 for 54.

GOALIES—Portland, Adam Berner (38 saves). SV, Matt Gershater (16 saves, 3-1-0 season) and David Stone (16 saves).

OFFICIALS—Referee, Richard Winkler; linesmen, Curtis Martin and John Olson.

NOTES—For the weekend the Suns out-pointed the Czechs 56-20, out-shot them 109-70 and outscored the Oregon visitors 25-9….Seven different Suns players collected their first goals of the season this weekend….With their total of 16 goals for the game and 8 goals in the second period, the Suns came up 1 goal shy of the franchise records in each category—17 single-game goals and 9 in a period. But they did set a franchise record with 3 goals in 19 seconds, breaking a 20-year-old record of 3 goals in 24 seconds….Luke Smith topped the weekend scoring parade with 5 goals and 3 assists for 8 points. Nikolaisons, Demment and Stevens each had 6 points….The Suns were 1-for-1 on the power play (4-5 weekend) and Portland was 4-for-10 (6-24 weekend). Penalty minutes: SV 42 (84 weekend) and Portland 23 (43 weekend)….The Jackson Hole Moose dropped to 6-4 on the young season by losing their first home games, 4-3 (OT) and 4-2 to the visiting Phoenix Desert Dogs Dec. 20-21 at Snow King Center.


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