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Sun Valley Suns Articles:
Paper: Idaho Mountain Express
Author: Sports Desk

Suns stay hot, fly past Tarpons 9-4, 9-3
Five straight wins for Sun Valley
Dominating the second and third periods with scoring bursts, the Sun Valley Suns (15-6-2) whipped the visiting Fairfield County Flying Tarpons All-Stars 9-4 and 9-3 last weekend on resort ice.
Big Luke Smith (9 points weekend) scored four goals in Friday’s 9-4 Suns victory, while seven different Suns lit the light in Saturday’s 9-3 cakewalk that featured three consecutive shorthanded goals.
"Not a bad weekend," said Suns coach Chris Benson. Indeed, they were the fourth and fifth straight wins for the streaking Suns, now unbeaten in their last six contests.
The Suns outscored the Flying Tarpons 13-2 in the final two periods of each game, and those two late goals that the Connecticut team tallied Friday were of the soft variety.
On the scoresheet, the Suns outpointed the Flying Tarpons 49-16 and outshot the visitors 109-47.
Friday’s game was settled in a three-minute stretch late in the second stanza.
With the Suns ahead 4-2, Smith got the puck behind the Flying Tarpons net, made a fake and stuffed it home for his second goal. Kris Webster’s wrist shot from the point hit the top shelf for a 6-2 game.
Then, on the power play, much-improved Suns defenseman Jon Bender whipped
a cross-ice pass to blueliner Ivars Muzis (6 points), who started a bang-bang scoring play with a feed to John Stevens and the sure finish by Smith for his hat trick.
Suns goalie Billy Cook made 18 saves Friday, and 40 for the weekend.
After a so-so first period Saturday, the home team once again picked up the pace at the end of the second.
Versatile Stevens, playing defense Saturday after centering Smith and John Miller (5 points weekend) on Friday, broke a 3-3 tie with a shorthanded shot from the point—and then the Suns penalty killers nimbly erased a two-man Tarpons advantage.
Breakout passes from the Suns zone sparked the five-goal Suns third period, making it seven unanswered Sun Valley goals to end the game.
"We had some great breakouts, something we lacked in the first period,"
said Benson.
Stevens made a pass up ahead to Brian Watts, who fought off a Flying Tarpons defender at the blue line and passed it to Miller. Miller made no mistake on a wrist shot for the second straight Suns shorthanded tally.
A perfect cross-ice pass from Webster (5 points weekend) connected with
Smith just outside the Tarpons blue line. One little move put Smith in alone, and he scored another shorthanded goal for a 6-3 Suns lead.
Webster’s forechecking produced the puck for Miller in the crease, and Miller scored a power-play goal for a 7-3 cushion. A breakout pass from Bender sent Ellison along the right wing—and Ellison found Vilnis
Nikolaisons (5 points weekend) on the doorstep for an 8-3 game.
They’re always looking for each other, and Latvians Nikolaisons (41 assists) and Muzis found each other for the ninth and final goal. Nikolaisons, in the corner, hit Muzis coming in from the point, and Muzis
buried the low, hard wrist shot for his seventh goal of the season.

Suns 9, Flying Tarpons 4
Fairfield Cty. Stars 2 0 2 4
Sun Valley Suns 3 4 2 9
FIRST PERIOD—(1) SV, John Miller 9 (Luke Smith, Kris Webster), 4:01. (2)Fairfield, Brian Saletta (Mike Stuart), 4:35. (3) SV, Jamie Ellison 21 (Jon Bender, Ivars Muzis), 7:13. (4) SV, Brian Watts 8 (Webster, Mikael Sedlacek), 12:15. (5)Fairfield, Mike Burkons (Nick Wayne, Bill Douglass), 16:41, power play goal.
SECOND PERIOD—(6) SV, Smith 19(Miller, John Stevens), 4:31. (7) SV, Smith
20 (Stevens, Miller), 13:56. (8) SV, Webster 7 (Vilnis Nikolaisons, Sedlacek), 15:24. (9) SV, Smith 21 (Stevens, Muzis), 16:34, power play and hat trick goal.
THIRD PERIOD—(10) Fairfield, Glenn Cacinell (Tip Fleming), 2:25. (11)Fairfield, Steve Theall (Stuart), 4:05, power play goal. (12) SV, Jamie Ellison 22 (Bender, Nikolaisons), 6:45. (13) SV, Smith 22(unassisted),
11:07. Note: Game called with 2:54 left after two fighting penalties and an injury.
SHOTS ON GOAL--for Fairfield Cty. All-Stars 7-6-9 for 22; for Sun Valley
18-20-21 for 59.
GOALIES—Fairfield Cty. All-Stars, Jeff Sandrenson (50 saves); SV, Billy
Cook (18 saves—first, second and most of the third period) and Chris Edwards (part of the third).
OFFICIALS—Referee, Richard Winkler; linesmen, Pat Ballou and John Olson.
NOTES—Tonight was similar to Luke Smith’s four-goal game against Boston Hockey Club March 10. In each game, Smith had his hat trick by the end of the second period, and added a fourth goal in the third….Smith has 11 goals and 6 assists for 17 points in his last four Suns games. Jamie Ellison is
9-10 for 19 in the last six games….Last winter the Suns scored 126 goals in 24 games. So far this season, it’s 158 goals in 23 games. Last year it was five hat tricks, this winter it’s 14 topped by Smith with four hat tricks….Suns forward lines were Vilnis Nikolaisons-Jamie Ellison-Brian Watts; Luke Smith-John Stevens-John Miller (11 points of the team’s 25); Chas Riopel-Mikael Reijo-Paul Ieilo with Bryan Wiskow rotating in. On the blueline were Ivars Muzis-Jon Bender, Kris Webster-Mikael Sedlacek….Back-up goalie Chris Edwards made his first Suns appearance at the start of the
third period, but lasted only 4:05 when the Flying Tarpons snuck a pair of easy goals past him….Jamie Ellison was back on the ice only 20 seconds from his five-minute fighting penalty when he stuffed home the eighth Suns goal and raised his stick to his biggest fans—the high-spirited kids in the
gallery….The game got a little out-of-hand (59 penalty minutes) and was called with 2:54 left when a Connecticut player was cut near the eye in a fight….The Suns were 1-3 on the power play, and Fairfield Cty. 2-4.

Suns 9, Flying Tarpons 3
Fairfield Cty. Stars 3 0 0 3
Sun Valley Suns 2 2 5 9
FIRST PERIOD—(1) Fairfield, Saletta (Burkons), 4:50. (2) SV, Jamie Ellison 23 (Smith, Muzis), 11:59. (3) Fairfield, Fleming (Cacinell, Saletta), 12:28. (4) SV, Muzis 6 (Smith), 14:00. (5) Fairfield, Joe Kustra (Douglass), 18:30.
SECOND PERIOD—(6) SV, Watts 9(unassisted), 7:37. (7) SV, Stevens 10(Nikolaisons, Jamie Ellison), 16:45, shorthanded goal.
THIRD PERIOD—(8) SV, Miller 10 (Watts, Stevens), 4:27, shorthanded goal.
(9) SV, Smith 23 (Webster, Muzis), 4:55, shorthanded goal. (10) SV, Miller 11 (Webster, Mikael Reijo), 7:21, power play goal. (11) SV, Nikolaisons 21 (Jamie Ellison, Smith), 14:00. (12) SV, Muzis 7 (Nikolaisons, Jamie Ellison), 17:17.
SHOTS ON GOAL--for Fairfield Cty. All-Stars 8-11-6 for 25; for Sun Valley
17-10-23 for 50.
GOALIES—Fairfield Cty. All-Stars, Jeff Sandrenson (41 saves); SV, Billy Cook (22 saves, 9-6-1 season record).
OFFICIALS—Referee, Doug Royal; linesmen, Bobby Noyes and Brian Bade.
NOTES—Fifth-year center Ellison (67-113 for 180) passed Dave Reichel this weekend and is now 17th on the all-time Suns scoring list, just one point behind Tim Jeneson. And seventh-year blueliner Kris Webster (60-103 for 163) vaulted past Tom D’Andrea into 20th place all-time…. John Miller enjoyed a solid 5-point weekend to go over the century mark in his nine seasons, at 42-62 for 104….The Suns are 9-3-2 in their last 14 home games. Last season, the Suns were 5-8-1 in their final 14 home games en route to the franchise’s first losing season in 15 years, at 9-14-1…John Stevens
leads the Suns with 3 shorthanded goals. The team now has 9 for the season, including 3 tonight….Referee-in-chief Bobby Noyes thought it was time for some new blood in the striped shirts, so he imported Idaho state referee-in-chief Doug Royal as tonight’s referee along with Brian Bade to
join him as linesman. They kept the game under control and quickly skated between the opposing players before fights could develop. The one time Jamie Ellison seemed ready to take on the entire Flying Tarpons bench, Noyes quietly skated past Ellison to make his presence known and went directly to the Suns bench, where he had a few words with Suns coach Chris Benson. There were no problems for the rest of the game. The Connecticut players were grateful for the fair officiating and shook Royal’s hand after
the contest.….The loud-mouthed gallery kids seemed to rattle Tarpons goalie Jeff Sandrenson in the 5-goal Suns third period, at one point suggesting the Connecticut goalie was so ineffective that he would probably let a bowling ball past him and into the net….Suns forward lines were
Nikolaisons-Jamie Ellison-Smith, Watts-Reijo-Miller, Riopel-John Ellison Jr.-Bryan Wiskow. With Mikael Sedlacek gone for the night, John Stevens dropped back to defense with Ivars Muzis, and Kris Webster paired with Jon Bender…..For the weekend, Sun Valley outpointed the Connecticut guests
49-16 led by Smith 5-4 for 9, Ellison 3-3 for 6 and Muzis 2-4 for 6… Suns all-time record in 26 seasons is 430-167-28, a total of 625 games and a winning percentage of .688….

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