Bozeman makes inroads in BDHL hockey – Stingers oust Suns 8-6, nearly upset Moose
The Bozeman (Mt.) Stingers was the surprise team making inroads against traditional powers at last weekend’s 2017 Black Diamond Hockey League playoffs in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
No. 3-seeded Bozeman (8-8), losers of four games to the Sun Valley Suns this season, upset the defending BDHL champion Suns by an 8-6 score in Friday’s semi-final and nearly shocked the host Jackson Hole Moose in Saturday’s championship game.
Bozeman led 1-0 and 2-1 over the top-seeded Moose in Saturday’s finale at Snow King Center. The Stingers seemed in much better position than their 7-0 BDHL semi-final loss to the Moose last March in the league playoffs on Sun Valley ice.
Yet during a third-period scoring explosion when a total eight goals were scored, Jackson Hole (25-5) tallied five goals and pulled off a 5-4 win for its second Joe Casey Memorial BDHL trophy in three years.
The Moose ended an outstanding campaign outscoring opponents 181-109. The only Jackson Hole league loss was 5-4 to the Stingers at Bozeman.
Leading BDHL scorer A.J. Sanders from Fairbanks, Ak. (42 goals, 48 assists for 90 points in 30 games) finished his three-goal hat trick by scoring two Moose goals in 87 seconds late in the third period—breaking a 3-3 tie and enabling the victory.
Suns coach John Burke was impressed with the Stingers and not surprised at all that Bozeman gave the favored Moose all it could handle in Saturday’s championship game.
Against the Suns, Bozeman jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead, held off several Sun Valley comebacks and eventually got the eventual game winner and hat trick goal from 24-year-old Ben Henne, also from Fairbanks, in the final minute.
Burke said, “Bozeman has good, quality players. They’re very difficult to play against when they have their whole team. Their compete-level was off the charts against us and they deserved to win. READ MORE…