May 29, 2007
Moen toast of two towns
By TERRY JONES -- Sun Media
ANAHEIM -- Stewart Valley, Saskatchewan, was a one-elevator town until they tore it down. Now it's a one horse town.
That horse, however, is Travis Moen. And today he's the toast of the town.
"In Stewart Valley, they're jumping around right now," said Regina native Ryan Getzlaf.
The Anaheim Ducks had just ridden the broad back of the 6-foot-2, 216-pound player to another Stanley Cup playoff win, this one with Moen scoring the winner with less than three minutes to play to give the Ducks a 3-2 win in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final.
"There's the heart and soul right there sitting next to me," said Getzlaf of the player on the dais of the interview room to his left.
"I've never been to Stewart Valley, to tell you the truth," said Getzlaf.
"But I've been to a place close. I'm sure it's a wonderful place. It is Saskatchewan."
For the second time this spring, Moen scored the game-winner. The first was in overtime against Vancouver.
Now, the 75 citizens of the Stewart Valley are going to have to put up a little bigger "Home of Travis Moen" sign than "the little one," as the Duck describes it, that greets folks driving through the place, 10 km outside of Swift Current.
Three more wins and Moen will be bringing the Stanley Cup to the Stewart Valley Co-op.
After they tore the elevator down, that's pretty much all that's left there now.
"It has a post office in it," said Moen.
The Co-op, which also has a coffee shop, is where his mom, Sheryl, goes to catchup on the news.
And Travis Moen will be big, big news there this morning.
Moen tried to picture it back home last night.
"I'm sure they were at home watching. I know my mom had 15 or 20 people over watching. So lots of fans at the family home."
Spring seeding was completed Saturday. So his brother, mother and sister weren't listening to the games on a Swift Current radio station in the tractors like they were earlier in the playoffs.
At this time of year Travis Moen is normally working the 3,200-acre grain and cattle farm which was established by his great grandfather and worked by his dad until he died at 44 years of age and older brother Brad was forced to take over when he was just 21.
"It's gotta be huge," he said of how his fifth goal of the playoffs would play back home.
"I saw the puck. I was kind of bouncing," he said of the pass from Rob Neidermayer.
"I got lucky and caught it on the way down.
"I got a lucky shot and it went in.
"It was huge to go up 3-2 with a couple of minutes left. We got the win.
"I think every kid grows up dreaming of scoring a goal to win a game in the Stanley Cup final. It's something special and something I'll never forget."
While the goal made him a fully accredited Stanley Cup finals hero, it was the work of he and his checking linemates Neidermayer and Samuel Pahlsson who were just as big a factors together in shutting down Ottawa's No. 1 line and forcing turnover after turnover.
"That line is extremely skilled.
"We got lucky tonight. We tried to keep playing in their end and stuff."
Coach Randy Carlyle said it's the way that line works.
"What we try to do is make sure that we play a conservative type of checking shift after shift after shift and really not complicate things on the offensive side.
"A lot of times the old adage was a good defence is offence. If you can keep the other club in their own zone then you don't have to worry about them scoring against you.
"And the key to the Pahlsson line with Neidermayer and Moen is that they cycle the puck well. And if they have possession in the offensive zone usually it leads to either momentum or sometimes draws penalties."
And sometimes it makes those 75 people in Stewart Valley, Saskatchewan very happy and very proud.