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Suns Take on Holy Cross Crusaders in Shootout
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Saturday, February 11, 2017
 

BY MICHAEL DAVID

The Sun Valley Suns welcomed the Holy Cross Crusaders to The Campion Ice House in Hailey Friday night for the first of a two-game series. And it proved to be a shootout featuring the Crusaders, a team made up of Holy Cross alums, against the hometown favorite in front of a raucous crowd.

Holy Cross came out of the gates strong, showing off their team speed, and putting pressure on the Suns defense for the first ten minutes of the game. But Sun’s net minder Ryan Thomson and the defense were up to the task, turning away rushes and shots and keeping the visitors off the scoreboard.

With eight minutes remaining in the period, the Suns began to exert some pressure of their own against the Crusader’s defense, and Branislav Kost scored to give the Suns a 1-0 lead with 6:40 left on the clock.

Less than two minutes into the second period, Tyson Cox--assisted by Mike Curry and Ryan Enrico--scored to put the Suns up 2-0. Following a Suns penalty, Holy Cross scored on a power play goal to cut the lead in half, 2-1. With 5:51 remaining in the period, the Crusaders stuffed the puck beyond the crease to tie the game at 2 goals apiece.

Justin Taylor put the Suns back on top with a nifty turn-around slap shot that surprised everyone in the building, including Holy Cross goalie, James Moskos. Moskos, a member of the Suns, donned the Crusader uniform for the contest, and proved a worthy replacement for Holy Cross. Injured Sun, Spencer Brendel (cracked ribs), watching the game from behind the glass, described Taylor’s crowd-pleasing goal as a “high-swat snipe.”

Taylor’s goal gave the home team a 3-2 lead going into the final period, despite the fact that the Crusaders outshot the Suns 34-19 in the first two periods.

The young fast Crusaders struck immediately in the third, scoring a minute into the period and tying the game up 3-3. They scored two more straight goals to take a 5-3 lead over the Suns with 12 minutes remaining in regulation.

“They are a very good team, a team that has played together at a Division 1 hockey program, and they put a lot of pressure on us,” said Sun’s captain Ryan Enrico after the game.

The Suns weren’t going down quietly, though. A power play goal by Sean O’Grady brought the crowd to its feet and brought the Suns within one goal. Two minutes later, Justin Taylor scored his second goal of the game to tie things up 5-5. 

Both goalies turned away late scoring chances to send the game into overtime. In the extra period, Moskos and Thomson stood strong. Neither team could score, setting the table for the sudden-death shootout.

After being stoned on their first attempt, the Suns made their next two, while Holy Cross matched the home team making two of their first three attempts. The goalies then turned away the next five shots. But the Crusaders finally sniffed one by Thomson on the last shot of the night to take home the victory, 8-7.

The teams meet again at 7 p.m. tonight—Saturday, Feb. 11—at the Campion Ice House in Hailey. 

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