By on March 17, 2015

PROPSFistbumpMoosely Firsts, Pokes pride

Sports fans had a lot to cheer about last weekend with upset victories for both the local hockey team and the state’s college basketball squad.

The Black Diamond Hockey League champion Moose took care of business on home ice last weekend despite muddling through a lackluster regular season. Their matchup with the top-seeded Sun Valley Suns for the league trophy — named for former Moose captain Joe Casey who died suddenly two years ago at the age of 37 – was a chance for redemption for the hometown team that had been blown out by its archrivals in all four regular season meetings.

Behind the stingy goaltending of Nick Krauss and scoring touch of Alex Biegler, the Moose dispatched the Suns 5-2 in front of a packed house at the Snow King Sports and Event Center on Saturday night. Players saluted the fans and took turns lifting the Joe Casey Cup above their heads as they skated underneath their former captain’s retired jersey hanging from the rafters at center ice.

This is the first year of the new regional hockey league and the Casey Cup has come home to roost for the first of many years to come. A Hollywood script couldn’t have been written any better.

Meanwhile, downstate, the Wyoming Cowboys basketball team pulled off a shocker of its own. They ousted No. 25 Boise State en route to a league championship win over San Diego State. The win qualifies the Pokes (25-9) for a bid to the NCAA Tournament as No. 12 seed, facing No. 5 Northern Iowa (30-3) in Seattle on March 20. TBS will carry the game slated to tap at 11:40 a.m. MST.

Moose hockey team celebrates its championship. (Photo credit: Sean Hannafin)

Moose hockey team celebrates its championship. (Photo credit: Sean Hannafin)

PROPSFistbumpLucky’s charmed

I wanted to find reasons to be suspicious of Lucky’s Market before they ever opened their doors. First off, they are a chain (albeit a small one with about 15 stores in the U.S.). Secondly, how fast did they jump in Whole Grocer’s old coffin? As soon as Whole Grocer announced their move to the old Sunrise True Value spot, Lucky’s reps said they would slide into the vacated plaza space that was once home to Food Town.

But so far, Lucky’s has done everything right. Catherine DiSanto’s Outpost Jackson Hole piece ahead of Wednesday’s grand opening makes the natural foods grocer look like a perfect fit for Jackson. Chain owners and chefs Trish and Bo Sharon launched their first store in Boulder, Colorado, in 2003. Since then, they’ve shared their vision to deliver quality food at an affordable price.

Lucky’s has been community-minded, pledging money to Vertical Harvest, Community Resource Center, Friends of Pathways and Slow Food in the Tetons. They’ve hired locally where possible (about 50 of the 110 total employees) and plan to make use of a golden 90/10 rule, locally sourcing at least 10 percent of their goods.

At the very least, Lucky’s will keep Whole Grocer from pricing natural and organic foods out of reach for some. At best, the charmed grocer might steal customers from its town rivals at the same rate they wooed employees like store manager Bob Millsap and others.

PROPSFistbumpBike psyched

Riding in the draft of a new state law that requires motorists to leave three feet of room for pedalers, bike-backers didn’t coast on their laurels. It was off to DC for a small group of cyclists including County Commissioner Melissa Turley, Pathways Director Brian Schilling, Wyoming Pathways Director Tim Young and a couple of Friends of Pathways reps.

The bike summit provided an opportunity for our local delegates to show Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, along with Congressman Cynthia Lummis, that Jackson Hole is passionate about biking. Turley said it was also an opportunity to glean useful ideas from communities more ahead of the game than Jackson. New York, for one, impressed Turley with its commitment to serving cyclists.

“[We saw] some great examples of work being done by large cities such as New York, with their goal to double bike ridership, and build health equity by building bike lanes,” Turley said. “Nationally, there is a lot of momentum, including a bill in the U.S. House addressing the concept of Vision Zero: no more traffic deaths.”

The group from Teton County took advantage of Capital Bikeshare (red loaner bikes available in downtown Washington), pedaling down Pennsylvania Avenue on its way to Capitol Hill to meet with Enzi and Barrasso. PJH

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