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Jackson dooms Utah
Teton Passers prevail in Debra Doom Cup with comeback shootout.
By Miller N. Resor, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Date: January 30, 2013
The championship game of Jackson’s annual women’s hockey tournament came down not to a goal, but to a save.
Still shaking off a loss from the night before, the Teton Passers, Jackson’s only A team in the Debra Doom Cup, rallied from a two-goal deficit twice in Sunday’s championship game to defeat the Utah Thunder in the tournament final.
It’s at least the third year in a row the Jackson squad has won the interstate tournament.
The Utah team beat the Passers 4-1 Saturday night in a frustrating game marred by a slew of penalties. It was the Passers’ only loss of the tournament.
Entering Sunday’s game, the Passers knew they would have to put the preceding night’s defeat behind them, play as a team and be at the top of their game to beat the well-coached Thunder.
After the Passers missed several early scoring opportunities, Utah took a one-goal lead in the first period off a breakaway by Thunder player Kate Hendrickson — the only point in the first period despite relentless pressure from the tough Utah team.
Things got worse for the Passers in the second as Utah capitalized on yet another breakaway in the first half of the period, this time notching a goal by the Thunders’ Erin Gould.
With their backs against the wall, defenseman Danny Blacker stepped up and made an offensive drive, putting a dangerous shot on net. Forward Gill Butsch was there to pick up the rebound and rocketed a low-angle shot past the opposing goalie to put Jackson within one.
However the quick Utah team broke through the Jackson defense again on yet another breakaway with eight minutes left in the second period, taking a two-goal lead once again as Laurie Larsen netted the Thunder’s third.
With only 1:45 left in the second period, Nina Resor played the puck from behind the net to Kim Morse. Morse slid the puck to Kaki Orr who snapped a quick shot and buried the black puck into the white netting. Again Jackson was within reach, trailing 3-2 at the end of two periods.
The third period was hard-fought. Jackson’s offense was thwarted again and again by Utah goalie Breshae Limb. At the other end of the ice, Passers goalie Amy Lyons also kept her team alive, making repeated saves.
With nine minutes remaining in regulation and tension running high, Marla Straight drove for the net, cutting behind and wrapping around. The Utah goalie slid across, denying Straight’s wrap-around, but the power of Straight’s attempt bounced the puck across the net where Orr was hovering. Orr bore down on the puck with a slap shot, driving it in decisively.
Both teams battled fiercely to the end of regulation, with near goals forcing gasps from the animated crowd, but regulation play ended with the teams tied 3-3.
The teams went to a five-minute, sudden-death overtime, and again, despite edge-of-the-seat excitement, the extra time came to a close with the score still tied 3-3.
With overtime behind them, the teams chose players for a five-person shootout.
Utah went first. Their shooter was not short on moves, but she couldn’t lose Lyons, who denied the first attempt.
Straight shot first for the Passers. With a nifty move she opened the goalie’s five hole and slipped the puck between the pads. Jackson went ahead 4-3 with four shooters to go.
The second Utah shooter was similarly stoned by Lyons, leaving Butsch an opportunity to take a two-goal advantage.
Butsch did not waste the chance. She faked right, dropped a shoulder to the left and went top cheese, blowing up the arena with the stylish move.
The Thunders’ third shooter had no more luck than the previous two. With the score now 5-3, and with only two shooters for the Thunder remaining, the visiting team had to score on each attempt and deny both Jackson shooters to tie.
Utah’s fourth shooter entered with speed. Lyons slid out of the net to cut the angle, stopped and began to skate back to the goal line as the Thunder player approached. The Utah player snapped a shot on Lyons as she retreated, but Lyons parried the shot off into the corner.
There was an instant of silence as the puck crashed into the boards behind the net. Then the crowd erupted.
The Passers stormed their goalie who had backed them up through three periods then shut out the opposition in the shootout.
Asked to name the stars of the game, Coach Emily Brienzo said, “Other than my goalie right here, who just shut them down and helped us big time with that win, they were all pretty great. But I have to give a shout out to Amy [Lyons] for that final performance.”
Brienzo coached all three Jackson teams entered in the various levels of the Debra Doom Cup.
“All the girls are so passionate about what we do and what we are here for,” she said. “They all love the game, and that’s why we are here. I come here because it is fun to coach them. It is fun to be on the bench with them and get excited with them and share victories and losses alike.”
The Passers won their first game Friday night 3-1 against Bozeman, Mont. On Saturday they won their second against Aspen, Colo., 2-1, before losing to Utah that night.
Butsch led the team in scoring with five goals and one assist. Orr also had six points, with three goals and three assists.
The Jackson Shooters competed in the B division of the tournament. The Shooters beat Bozeman 5-1 in their opener but fell to Sun Valley, Idaho, 2-0 the next morning. Saturday night, they beat Utah’s Wasatch Wingers 2-1.
Despite their win over the Wingers, both teams ended the round robin section of the tournament with the same record. Tournaments rules dictate that the championship game be determined by the teams with the most points coming out of round-robin play. Because Sun Valley and the Wingers each had a shutout, each received an extra point and moved to the championship game.
Allison Arthur had three points for the Shooters, with two goals and an assist. Hadden Goodman had two goals and Kathleen Roe had two assists.
In the C bracket of the tournament, the J.H. Venom won its opening game 2-0 against Sun Valley. For many of the women on the ice, it was the first official game they had ever played.
Tori Hederman joined the Venom this year. She has been traveling from Tetonia, Idaho, once a week on Thursday nights to practice with the Jackson teams.
“It’s super fun,” Hederman said after her first official game. “The women have been so friendly and nice because we are all beginners, and they have been really good at teaching us how to play the games, the rules. And Emily, our coach, is amazing. It has been really fun. Like, this was awesome.”
Hederman scored in her first game with an assist from Emily Erickson. Allison Bergh added another goal for the Venom. Her goal was assisted by Robin Hutchinson.
The Debra Doom Cup honors Debbie Martin, a Jackson native and avid hockey player who died while trying to rescue somebody on the Snake River.