The goal scoring of center Ed Osterberger and clutch goaltending of Seth Askew led the Boise/Timberline T-Braves high school hockey team to the championship of last weekend’s Sun Valley Youth Hockey Midgets tournament.
Coach Chad O’Brien’s host Sun Valley Midgets (3-1 weekend) captured third place of nine teams and battled eventual champion T-Braves to a standstill before dropping Sunday’s 3-2 semi-final decision.
T-Braves’ Osterberger led all scorers with eight goals and four assists as the No. 2-seeded T/Braves went unbeaten in five games including Sunday’s 6-4 overtime shootout win over No. 1 Eagle/Rocky Mountain of Boise at Campion Ice House.
It was Osterberger providing the game-winning goal as the second shooter in the three-player shootout after a scoreless five-minute overtime period on Hailey ice. His backhand decider slipped past Eagle/Rocky Mountain goalie Daniel May (32 saves).
Askew (40 saves) was a steel curtain—allowing no goals as Eagle/Rocky out-shot the T-Braves 10-2 in the final 12 minutes of the third period and overtime. In the shootout, he made saves on Erik Sundvall and Ethan Bengtzen.
The T-Braves (5-0 weekend) rallied from a 4-2 deficit. Osterberger made it 4-3 with 29 seconds left in the second period and then scored his second goal of the game, from Espen Nelson, with 12 minutes remaining in the third.
In the shootout, Osterberger’s linemate Young Chen scored on the T-Braves first shot, and Osterberger finished the game with his backhand.
For the weekend, top scorers were Erik Sundvall (7 goals, 2 assists) and Justin Jones (5 goals, 3 assists) for Eagle/Rocky Mountain (3-1).
Coach Brad Andrews’ T-Braves, winners of their preliminary games by a combined 21-4 score, were fortunate to hold off Sun Valley by a 3-2 score in Sunday’s semi-final and thus advance to meet Eagle/Rocky in the title game.
Osterberger scored the first goal, shorthanded from Alec Martin, then the Boise center circled the Suns net and fed Young Chen for a 2-0 lead just 29 seconds later.
Stunned by the rapid-fire scores, the No. 3-seeded Suns spent the rest of the first period reassembling confidence.
Center DJ Gralenski of Sun Valley did much to steady the Suns passing and teamwork, and he set up the first goal with an aggressive push toward T-Braves goalie Askew that senior Sam Fenn poked home from the side of the net.
Assisting Fenn’s goal were Brandon Loayza and Slater Whitehead for Sun Valley.
Having played the T-Braves evenly in the second, with Suns goalie Andrew Nelson (23 saves) stopping all 15 Boise shots in the second stanza, Sun Valley took a step backward when Osterberger carried the puck end-to-end and scored his second goal, across the crease.
Suns defenseman Colby Speth made it 3-2 by stickhandling through traffic and scoring on the backhand with five minutes left in the third. Sam Laski earned the assist.
Unfortunately for the home crowd, the Suns couldn’t score on a five-on-three power play opportunity after Deke Burrell was pulled down on an attack to the net, and the T-Braves held to win 3-2. Askew finished with 20 saves. The T-Braves out-shot Sun Valley 26-22.
Sun Valley coach O’Brien said, “It was an amazing game, our kids played hard and battled back. They made big plays, and killed big penalties that kept us in the game. It was such a good team effort.
“The older kids including captains Sam Fenn, DJ Gralinski and Fletcher Stumph led the team very well and kept things positive on the bench even though they were losing.
“The younger guys did a great job stepping up on both forward and defense. Also, our goalie Andrew Nelson made some huge saves and had a great weekend overall.
“This was our best weekend of hockey and shows that we have a chance to compete for a state championship.”
Other tourney games
Earlier in the nine-team, three-day tournament, the Suns won their three games by 8-3, 11-1 and 2-1 scores over Skyline High School of Idaho Falls, the Teton Valley Cutthroats of Driggs, and the Boise Knights.
Friday was “Senior Night,” and the Suns responded with six goals in the first period on their way to the 8-3 win over Skyline. Fletcher Stumph had the three-goal hat trick, and five other Suns scored goals.
On Saturday morning, the Suns out-shot Teton Valley 45-2 with Burrell scoring four goals and Huck Sprong adding a pair. Stumph had three assists. The Sun Valley goalie for the game was Matt Meyers.
Although Sun Valley out-shot the Boise Knights 22-9 on Saturday afternoon, the home team was locked in a 1-1 battle after two periods. Burrell broke the tie with the game winner from Stumph and Ashton Tanner midway through the third period. Goalie was Nelson (8 saves).
Crow Macdonald scored the first Suns goal, from Whitehead, for an early 1-0 lead.
Sun Valley coaches were O’Brien, assisted by DJ Robinson and Max Tardy. The weekend Suns scorers were:
Fletcher Stumph 3 goals/6 assists; Deke Burrell 6/2; Crow Macdonald 3/2; Huck Sprong 2/2; Brandon Loayza 1/3; DJ Gralenski 2/2; Alex Lengyel 1/2; Slater Whitehead 0/2; Sam Fenn 2/0; Colby Speth 2/0; Ashton Tanner 0/2; Jackson Ballard 1/0; Zane Lyon 0/1; Sam Laski 0/1.
Final standings (19 games, 149 goals scored-against): 1—Boise High/Timberline T-Braves 5-0 record, 30 goals scored, 10 against. 2—Eagle/Rocky Mountain 3-1, 22-8. 3—Sun Valley 3-1, 23-8.
4—Boise Knights 3-1, 24-4. 5—Bonnecrest of Idaho Falls 2-2, 14-20. 6—Skyline Grizzlies of Idaho Falls 1-3, 14-26. 7—Idaho Falls Tigers 1-4, 8-20.
8—Jackson Hole (Wyo.) Moose 1-3, 11-18. 9—Teton Valley Cutthroats 0-4, 3-35.
Friday, Nov. 30 game results: Eagle/Rocky Mountain 6-1 over Idaho Falls Tigers; Sun Valley 8-3 over Skyline Grizzlies; Boise/Timberline T-Braveds 8-2 over Bonnecrest; Boise Knights 10-0 over Teton Valley Cutthroats.
Saturday, Dec. 1 game results: Eagle/Rocky Mountain 7-0 over Jackson Hole Moose; Boise/Timberline T-Braves 5-0 over Idaho Falls Tigers; Sun Valley 11-1 over Teton Valley Cutthroats; Boise Knights 9-1 over Skyline Grizzlies;
Eagle/Rocky Mountain 5-1 over Bonnecrest; Sun Valley 2-1 over Boise Knights; Skyline Grizzlies 6-2 over Teton Valley Cutthroats; Boise/Timberline T-Braves 8-2 over Jackson Hole Moose; Bonnecrest 4-3 over Idaho Falls Tigers.
Sunday, Dec. 2 game results: No. 8-seeded Jackson Hole Moose 8-0 over No. 9 Teton Valley Cutthroats; No. 2 Boise/Timberline T-Braves 3-2 over No. 3-seeded Sun Valley;
No. 4 Boise Knights 4-1 over No. 5-seeded Idaho Falls Tigers; and No. 6 Bonnecrest 7-4 over No. 7-seeded Skyline Grizzlies.
Championship game: No. 2-seededBoise/Timberline T-Braves 6-4 (overtime shootout) over No. 1 Eagle/Rocky Mountain.