find a way to win
Ellison nets game
in 6-5 OT thriller
Express Staff Writer
Sun Valley Suns defenseman Paul Baranzelli came to play. The 6-0,
185-pounder from the Iron Range of Minnesota had a breakout game against a
event in Friday’s Suns-Bucks "Smoker" featured the
goalies, from left, James "Bus" Moskos of the Suns and Gary
"Third Man In" Thron of the Bucks. Both got an early shower, and
the Suns capitalized on Thron’s absence to win 6-5 in overtime. Express
photo by David N. Seelig
first-year goalie James Moskos came all the way down the ice, ready to
implement "The Law of Goalies" and fight a goaltender six inches
taller and 60 pounds heavier.
Valley rink was packed for Friday’s game between the unbeaten Suns and
the reigning USA Hockey National Elite champions Bucks Unpainted Furniture
from Bloomington, Minn.
game and the franchise-record win streak seemed to be slipping away for
the Suns, who squandered a 5-2 lead. Then all hell broke loose, Baranzelli
and Moskos smack dab in the thick of things.
dust settled, Suns center Jamie Ellison and wing Vilnis Nikolaisons worked
their telepathic passing magic and combined for the game-winning goal in
an unlikely 6-5 Suns overtime triumph.
(14-0), having dodged a major bullet Friday, coasted to a 7-2 win Saturday
that stretched Sun Valley’s two-season winning streak to 21 games—unbeaten
in 22 games since an 8-7 loss to the Jackson Hole (Wyo.) Moose last Feb.
week I’d been hearing about how good the Bucks were," said
Baranzelli, 21, who scored a hat trick in Friday's overtime win. "It’s
fun to play against better competition.
scored the first goal and said okay. After the second one, I had a yogurt
between periods and came out and popped the third one early. And then I
got eight stitches in my head after the fight."
erupted with 1:12 left in the five-minute overtime period. Baranzelli and
Steve Wendorf of the Bucks rumbled just to the left of Bucks goalie Gary
Thron. It was a good scrap, and Thron couldn’t help himself. He jumped
As soon as
Thron entered the fray as the third man in, Moskos, 23, left his cage and
barreled down the middle of the ice from the opposite end. He tossed his
gloves and stick away at center ice and got ready to become a test crash
dummy on Thron’s larger body.
called "The Law of Goalies." Moskos explained, "When there’s
a tussle on one end and their goalie comes out and becomes the third man
in, you’ve just got to go down and free up some of your guys."
exactly have the element of surprise in his arsenal. The little guy looked
like a big bus screaming down a major Idaho grade.
saw me coming," said Moskos about Thron. The fact that Moskos ended
up on his back, pummeled by Thron, didn’t bother the well-traveled
goalie from Boston. Moskos said, "Neither one of us ended up too bad.
Besides, he had six inches and 60 pounds on me."
Bobby Noyes was left with the job of sorting it all out. Baranzelli and
Wendorf were gone for fighting, right off. Thron drew a game misconduct
for third man in, and Moskos was gone as well.
gone, one minute and 12 seconds left in OT. While negotiators conferred
and discarded equipment was retrieved, Matt Gershater skated out to
relieve Moskos. But the Bucks had only one goalie, Thron.
"They told me their back-up goalie had a pulled groin. I said, dress
somebody, but they didn’t. They wanted me to either end the game right
there or let their goalie come back. I just told them it wasn’t my fault
they didn’t have a goalie."
without a goalie, the Bucks went with an extra skater up front, similar to
an empty-net scenario. They needed to kill off 72 seconds and argue their
way out of a shootout and settle for a 5-5 tie.
Nikolaisons dashed those Bucks hopes.
was at center ice. Ellison took it and won it and the puck skidded into
the Bucks zone, pursued quietly but ferociously by Nikolaisons. In one
motion Vilnis swept the puck into the slot.
the back of the empty net—nine seconds after the faceoff.
should have held them in the third period," said Moskos (35 saves),
who had made some great saves in the second before allowing two soft goals
in the third. Meanwhile, Baranzelli was beaming.
we’ll come in with a good record against Jackson Hole and hope for
another big weekend," he said.
team-leading 7 points weekend) scored twice while five other Suns scored
single goals in Saturday’s 7-2 victory. Gershater made 47 saves for his
Next up, the Moose
their trash talking when the going is good, the Jackson Hole (Wyo.) Moose
return to Sun Valley Skating Center this weekend for the first two games
of a home-and-home series with Sun Valley.
face-offs are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1-2. The Moose enter with a
14-3 record including a 5-2 and 4-1 sweep of the visiting Chicago Chargers
in their last action Jan. 18-19 in Jackson Hole.
Valley Suns, stronger and deeper than in many winters, will be looking to
snap an eight-game losing streak to the Moose—a skid in which Jackson
Hole has poured it on, outscoring the Suns 63-35.
have publicly dissed the Suns during their recent successes, essentially
calling Sun Valley an old team and a fading franchise.
match-up between two of the Northwest’s best Senior A hockey squads that
contrasts the Suns’ longevity—Sun Valley is in its 27th season—with
Jackson Hole’s young program, now in its fifth year.
the Moose really beat up on the shorthanded and injured Suns, winning 6-0
and 8-7 on Sun Valley ice last February 23-24. They outshot the Suns 74-54
and outscored their hosts 14-7 for the weekend.
visiting teams, the Moose brought so many players in 2001 that they
outnumbered the Suns.
shutout was the first time the Suns had been blanked at home in five
years. In the finale, the Suns squandered 3-0, 4-1 and 6-3 leads. The
Moose rally was fueled by a second-period flurry of three goals in an
amazing 24 seconds.
four-year rivalry, the Moose lead 10-5-1. The Moose placed second in the
National Senior A tournament in 2000, but exited early last April.
the Moose have weathered injuries to their two goaltenders and have 10
games remaining including home-and-homes with Sun Valley.