Sun Valley edges Moose to retain Joe Casey Cup

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – The Jackson Hole Moose came up one goal short in their bid to bring the Joe Casey Cup back home to Jackson. The Sun Valley Suns outlasted the Moose in a thriller of a game, 5-4, to repeat as Black Diamond Hockey League champions last night.

The top line of AJ Sanders, Drew Akins, and Tom Hartnett led the Moose on the scoresheet — all had 4-point nights with a goal and three assists, apiece. Dan Dupont added a goal from the blueline but the Moose could get no scoring out of the second, third, and fourth lines as they found themselves chasing the game most of the night.

Clean looks and good chances were hard to come by. Most of the game’s goals were from close in and the product of hard work, mucking and second chances.

Akins led off the scoring with a brilliant end-to-end rush capped off by a nice move and a shot that just trickled in.

But Sun Valley would tally three times in the opening period, surprising the Moose with their speed to the outside. The Suns’ uptempo game caught defensemen flatfooted through the neutral zone a few times in the first 20 minutes.

And again, failure to clear their own zone for long stretches hurt the Moose. The Suns pinned the Moose in their own end by beating them to loose pucks and winning one-on-one battles.

Jackson came out better in the second period and took a 4-4 tie into the dressing room at second intermission.

The third period was played tentatively by both teams. Passing was sloppy as both teams tightened the grip on their sticks. A miscue from Moose goalie Nick Krauss resulted in the only goal of the final period. Krauss got caught out of the net playing a loose puck and Suns forward DJ Robinson took advantage of a wide-open net.

The Joe Casey Cup will remain in the possession of the Suns for the second straight year. Sun Valley won the BDHL tournament last season in Hailey. The Moose last won the BDHL championship in 2016-17.

Jackson finishes the 2018-19 season with a record of 22-8.

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