The Kenai Central hockey team scored on two of its three shots in the third period to defeat Colony 2-1 in nonconference action at the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility.
The Division II Kardinals moved to 5-10-0 overall, while the Division I Knights fell to 8-4.
“We haven’t won in a while,” Kenai Central head coach Scott Shelden said. “We’ve been coming up short and we’ve been playing two good periods, but this time we put all three together.
“So it feels pretty good.”
Both teams were playing their first games after the holiday break.
Shelden said the team took a few weeks off for the holidays and resumed practicing Monday. He’s not sure if that’s what the team needed, he just knows how the team looked Thursday. He said it was Kenai’s best game this season.
“They played amazing,” Shelden said. “I mean, we could have had more offense, but we played a full game.
“Passing, defense, limited their shots, and we kept our heads good, you know?”
Down 1-0 in the third period, Logan Mese got the Kardinals started by taking a pass from Landen Cialek on the power play and splitting two defenders before flicking a backhand over the shoulder of goalie Liam VanBuskirk with 9:27 left in the game.
“It was beautiful,” Shelden said.
With 5:01 to play, Reagan Graves battled at the blue line to flick the puck down to the boards. Avery Martin was able to convert the bounce off the boards for a goal. Cialek also assisted on the play.
“Reagan Graves did a great job just getting it in that direction,” Shelden said. “He had pressure out there on the blue line.”
Colony’s goal came on a power play in the second period, when Jerad Hacker scored on assists from Carsen Lantto and Joseph Kirk.
That was all Kenai goalie Evyn Witt would allow on 20 shots. VanBuskirk stopped 23 for the Knights.
The same two teams play at 7 p.m. tonight at the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility.
Kardinals 2, Knights 1
Colony 0 1 0 —1
Kenai 0 0 2 —2
First period — none. Penalties — Colony 1 for 2:00; Kenai 1 for 2:00.
Second period — 1. Colony, Hacker (Lantto, Kirk), pp, 2:47. Penalties — Colony 3 for 6:00; Kenai 2 for 4:00.
Third period — 2. Kenai, Mese (Cialek), 5:33; 3. Kenai, Martin (Graves, Cialek), 9:59. Penalties — Colony 2 for 4:00.
Shots on goal — Colony 5-5-10—20; Kenai 9-13-3—25.
Goalies — Colony, VanBuskirk (25 shots, 23 saves); Kenai, Witt (20 shots, 19 saves).