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Suns Split A Pair with the Switchbacks
Monday, March 9, 2020


The Vermont Switchbacks brought a couple of familiar faces with them to the Wood River Valley this weekend, hoping to parlay some familiarity into success against the 19-1 Sun Valley Suns, who were riding high on an eight-game winning streak.

 George Ordway and Mike Peters provided good hockey and insider information in the locker room, but the Suns were able to win their ninth straight game 4-0 on Friday night. The tables turned on Saturday, however, as the Switchbacks went wire to wire, snapping the Suns’  winning streak and taking game two by a score of 6-2.

 Both squads came out playing crisp clean hockey on Friday night as the teams felt each other out for the first 10 minutes of the contest. The Suns struck first just before the midway point of the quarter when forward Nick Curry found the net off a pass from fellow forward Max Tardy to give the home team a 1-0 lead.

 The Suns carried that one-goal lead into the second period and extended it to 2-0 at the 14:29 mark when veteran forward Spencer Brendel went five-hole with assists coming from Tardy and Curry. Six minutes later, Suns newcomer Augie Kuzara took the puck from behind his own net and raced the length of the ice, blowing past Switchback defenders and beating the goalie to make the score 3-0.

 With 56 seconds remaining in the second period, defenseman Mike “Taco” Curry deposited the puck in the net, assisted by Sean “Doc” O’Grady and Derek Grimes to up the lead to four goals.

 Goalie Bobby Bowden would continue his mastery in the third, making save after save to preserve the shutout and the 4-0 victory.

 Saturday night was a different story as the visitors turned up the intensity early in the game, scoring twice in the first period and keeping the Suns off the scoreboard. The Switchbacks took  a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.

 Kuzara would get the Suns going in the second, scoring his second goal of the weekend three minutes into the period to cut the lead to 2-1. But the Switchbacks, a young talented team comprised of Middlebury College alums, responded with a goal 28 seconds later to push their lead back to two goals. Ten minutes later Vermont added another goal to stretch the lead to 4-1.

 But the Suns struck back late in the second when forward Justin Taylor took a wonderful feed from Nick Curry and buried the puck inside the right goal post to keep the Suns close entering the third and final period.

 Unfortunately, the Suns were not able to mount a comeback in the third, as the Switchbacks tacked on two more for a 6-2 final score. Both games were played in front of packed houses at the Campion Ice House, with a portion of the proceeds supporting Higher Ground.

 The Suns’ record now sits at 20-2 entering next week’s season-ending contests against their rivals, the Jackson Moose.  The games will take place on Friday and Saturday, March 13 and 14, at the Ice House in Hailey. Puck drops at 7 p.m. both nights.


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