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Suns Sting Stingers to Head to Finals
 
   
 
Saturday, March 10, 2018
 

BY MICHAEL DAVID

A year ago the Bozeman Stingers upset the Sun Valley Suns in the semifinals of the Black Diamond Hockey League playoffs, denying the Suns the opportunity to defend their 2016 BDHL title.

Friday night in Hailey the Sun Valley Suns Hockey Club avenged last year’s loss, defeating the Stingers 4-3 and earning a spot in Saturday’s championship game against the Jackson Moose. The Moose downed the Vail Yeti 4-2 in the other semifinal matchup at the Campion Ice House on Friday night.

Bozeman opened the scoring early, finding the net 5:44 seconds into the game to take a 1-0 lead. The Suns kept the pressure on in the first period, controlling the puck in the Stingers end, only to be denied time after time by the visiting goaltender. Suns’ Justin Taylor broke the brief scoring drought at the 6:39 mark, firing the puck through the five-hole for the power play goal and tying the game1-1.

Doug Yates scored 2:30 into the second period to put the home team up 2-1. Bozeman would not go away, scoring a goal of their own halfway through the period to knot the game at two goals apiece. However, veteran Marty Flichel scored one minute later to once again give the Suns a one-goal lead.

Justin Taylor struck again, scoring on a one-timer with 4:42 remaining in the second stanza to give the home team a 4-2 lead heading into the final period of regulation play.

Both teams flexed their defensive muscles in the third as the Suns maintained their two-goal margin for the first 10 minutes of the period.  But Bozeman, after having an apparent goal waived off, scored on the power play to pull the visitors within one, at 4-3.

Then, Suns defense and goaltender Ryan Thomson turned away all Stinger threats and shots for the final half of the period, holding on for the victory.

The Sun Valley Suns will attempt to capture their second BDHL Championship in three years tonight—Saturday, March 10—against the defending champion Moose. Come out and watch these fierce competitors add another chapter to their long-standing rivalry. The puck drops at 7 p.m.at The Campion Ice House in Hailey.




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