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Sun Valley Suns Articles:
1/28/2004
Paper: Idaho Mountain Express
Author: Sports Desk

Bullwinkled, by a bunch
Moose throw down gauntlet, 10-2, 6-2

The Sun Valley Suns got totally bullwinkled by the black-shirted Jackson Hole (Wyo.) Moose last weekend at Sun Valley Skating Center.

Jackson Hole’s quickness, speed and team discipline had Sun Valley backpedaling from the get-go Friday night. Two-on-one breakways were common, and so were goals—16—for the skilled Moose snipers.

It was a rout.

Friday, Jackson swamped Sun Valley 10-2—the worst home ice loss for the Suns in 21 years. The barrage continued Saturday as the Moose swept the weekend series 6-2 and gained quick leverage on this winter’s eight-game series between the two friendly rivals.

"Jackson Hole just outplayed us," said Suns coach Johnny Ellison. "We’re a better hockey team than that. Defensive lapses allowed a lot of two-on-ones. What it means is we have a lot of work to do."

The Moose (12-2) built a 4-0 lead Friday, seemingly before the Suns could blink. Two shorthanded Moose goals in just nine seconds of the first period made it 4-0, and Jackson Hole never looked back behind star goalie Marc Morningstar.

Jackson Hole’s forechecking was awesome, and the Suns’ offense had trouble cracking through the neutral zone.

By Friday’s third period, the Suns trailed 8-1 and started reshuffling their forward lines in an attempt to find better chemistry and to uncover some, make that any, offense. The Moose outshot the Suns 41-23 Friday, and 44-20 Saturday.

To make matters worse, the Suns lost goalie Ryan Thomson indefinitely when he injured his groin during a six-minute relief stint of Friday’s starting goalie Matt Gershater. Bobby Farrelly was Saturday’s back-up for coach Ellison.

Leading the Moose—winners of five of six games between the teams over two seasons—were T.C. Harris and Joe Casey, who each scored four weekend goals including two shorthanded goals apiece. Bryan Hannafin had the hat trick for the Moose Friday.

Next, the Suns (5-3) travel to Jackson Hole for a two-game Super Bowl weekend set Friday and Saturday, Jan. 30-31 at 7:30 p.m. at Snow King Center.

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