Kenai gets lone win in conference weekend road test for Peninsula teams

The Kenai Central hockey team got four goals from Jacob Begich and came back from a 4-1 deficit to secure a 5-4 Railbelt Conference victory at Palmer on Friday night.

Saturday, the Kardinals took a 5-0 conference loss to Houston on the road to fall to 7-6 overall and 3-1 in the league.

After the Friday game, Kenai head coach Scott Shelden texted that Begich obviously had a huge role in the win “but this was a team win for sure.”

Shelden said all 29 players on the team are team first, and that he’s “very proud of their effort tonight, coming back from being down 4-1.”

Begich, assisted by Landen Cialek, put the Kards up in the first period, but Jeremy Horacek had it all square for Palmer by the end of the first.

By the 7:49 mark of the second period, Carter Greco, Bradford Heard and Horacek had all scored to put the Moose up 4-1.

But by the 3:46 mark of the second, Kenai had drawn even. Begich scored twice, once unassisted and once assisted by Avery Martin. Reagan Graves then tied the game on an assist from Gavin Liles.

Begich had the game-winner in the third period, assisted by Cialek and Zach Rogerss.

Carson Koppes had 31 saves for the Kards, while Brody Joseph stopped 16 of 20 for Palmer, and Joshua Horacek stopped 10 of 11.

Saturday, Andrey Reutov and Brody Richard scored in the first period, Afanasy Efimov scored in the second period, and Brayden Johnson and Daniel Matveev scored in the third period for the Hawks.

Ari Burnside earned the shutout for Houston with 21 saves, while Kate Harris stopped 17 for the Kardinals.

Palmer 4, Soldotna 1

The host Moose notched a Railbelt victory on Saturday to drop the Stars to 7-6 overall and 2-2 in the league.

The Stars had defeated the Moose 4-3 in overtime in a nonconference contest on Dec. 3, but Palmer was able to get revenge Saturday.

SoHi head coach Anthony Zurfluh texted after the game that the effort was there for his team, and plenty of chances were created, but Palmer goalie Joshua Horacek came up with 13 saves. Ayden See stopped 17 for the Stars.

“That team has 12 seniors and their seniority and discipline paid off,” Zurfluh texted.

Silas Larsen gave the Stars a 1-0 lead with 2:48 left in the first period with an unassisted goal, but after that it was all Palmer.

Kinan Greco and Nathanael Wright scored in the second period, while Gavin Gore and Elijah Von Gunten lit the lamp in the third period.

Houston 2, Homer 1, OT

Andrey Reutov scored for the host Hawks in overtime for the Railbelt Conference victory over the Mariners on Friday.

Homer falls to 4-8-1 overall and 3-3-1 in the league after losing 2-1 in overtime in conference play on the road for the second straight night.

Hunter Green, assisted by Kazden Stineff, put the Mariners up 1-0 in the first period, but Afanasy Efimov answered a little over a minute later for Houston. That would be all the scoring until overtime.

Keegan Strong stopped 25 for Homer, while Ari Burnside had 11 saves for Houston.


Kardinals 5, Moose 4

Kenai 1 3 1 —5

Palmer 1 3 0 —4

First period — 1. Kenai, Begich (Cialek), 0:18; 2. Palmer, Je. Horacek (Von Gunten), 6:27. Penalties — Kenai 2 for 4:00; Palmer 2 for 12:00.

Second period — 3. Palmer, C. Greco (Je. Horacek), 4:15; 4. Palmer, Heard (Broughton, Weaver), 6:00; 5. Palmer, Je. Horacek (Gore, C. Greco), 7:11; 6. Kenai, Begich (un.), 7:54; 7. Kenai, Begich (Martin), 10:04; 8. Kenai, Graves (Liles), 11:14. Penalties — Kenai 4 for 8:00; Palmer 3 for 6:00.

Third period — 9. Kenai, Begich (Rogerss, Cialek), 9:32. Penalties — Kenai 2 for 4:00; Palmer 4 for 8:00.

Shots on goal — Kenai 9-13-9—31; Palmer 9-13-13—35.

Goalies — Kenai, Koppes (35 shots, 31 saves); Palmer, Joseph (20 shots, 16 saves), Jo. Horacek (11 shots, 10 saves).

Hawks 2, Mariners 1, OT

Homer 1 0 0 0 —1

Houston 1 0 0 1 —2

First period — 1. Homer, Green (Stineff), 10:42; 2. Houston, A. Efimov (D. Efimov), pp, 11:53. Penalties — Homer 1 for 2:00; Houston 1 for 2:00.

Second period — none. Penalties — Houston 1 for 2:00.

Third period — none. Penalties — Houston 1 for 2:00.

Overtime — 3. Houston, Reutov (A. Efimov), 1:11. Penalties — none.

Shots on goal — Homer 6-2-4-0—12; Houston 11-3-10-3—27.

Goalies — Homer, Strong (27 shots, 25 saves); Houston, Burnside (12 shots, 11 saves).


Hawks 5, Kardinals 0

Kenai 0 0 0 —0

Houston 2 1 2 —5

First period — 1. Houston, Reutov (A. Efimov, Richard), 1:17; 2. Houston, Richard (A. Efimov, Reutov), 6:07. Penalties — Kenai 1 for 2:00; Houston 2 for 4:00.

Second period — 3. Houston, A. Efimov (un.), 8:53. Penalties — Kenai 1 for 2:00; Houston 3 for 6:00.

Third period — 4. Houston, Johnson (un.), 3:33; 5. Houston, Matveev (Johnson), 5:44. Penalties — Kenai 1 for 2:00; Houston 2 for 4:00.

Shots on goal — Kenai 5-8-8—21; Houston 9-7-6—22.

Goalies — Kenai, Harris (22 shots, 17 saves); Houston, Burnside (21 shots, 21 saves).

Moose 4, Stars 1

Soldotna 1 0 0 —1

Palmer 0 2 2 —4

First period — 1. Soldotna, Larsen (un.), 12:12. Penalties — Soldotna 2 for 4:00; Palmer 1 for 2:00.

Second period — 2. Palmer, K. Greco (Samaniego), 1:31; 3. Palmer, Wright (McQuillin), sh, 4:23. Penalties — Soldotna 4 for 8:00; Palmer 2 for 7:00.

Third period — 4. Palmer, Gore (C. Greco, Logan), pp, 1:42; 5. Palmer, Von Gunten (un.), pp, 4:48. Penalties — Soldotna 3 for 6:00; Palmer 4 for 11:00.

Shots on goal — Soldotna 1-6-7—14; Palmer 4-9-8—21.

Goalies — Soldotna, See (21 shots, 17 saves); Palmer, Jo. Horacek (14 shots, 13 saves).

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