The Kenai Central hockey team defeated Juneau-Douglas 3-2 on Saturday at the Soldotna Region Sports Complex for its first win of the year.
The Kards, who lost 12-4 to the Crimson Bears on Friday, improve to 1-4, while Juneau drops to 1-2.
After Friday’s game, Kenai coach Mike Tilly talked about the rapid improvement of Ryan Williams in the net.
Williams had no meaningful time at goalie before this year.
Saturday, he made 35 saves to key the win.
“Ryan stepped up to be the goalie,” Tilly said. “Without him, we wouldn’t have a season. He comes to practice every day and works hard.”
In Saturday’s game, Kenai jumped to a 3-0 lead and held off Juneau.
In the first period, Levi Mese scored on assists from Jakeb O’Brien and Stefan Gelosa, and Chris Hagel lit the lamp on assists from Mese and Tristan Bulot.
In the second period, O’Brien made it 3-0 on an assist from Tyler Lingafelt.
Juneau’s Oscar Jones cut the lead to 3-2 by the end of two, then with 4 minutes, 50 seconds, left in the game, Zach Hebert snipped the lead to one.
Kyle Farley-Robinson had 15 saves for Juneau.
Friday, the Crimson Bears got goals from eight different players, including a hat trick from Ryan Liebelt, in notching a 12-4 victory over the Kardinals.
Kenai actually got on the board first when Ian Mercado scored unassisted just 31 seconds into the contest. However, Cahal Morehouse and Chase Barnum put the Crimson Bears up 2-1 before Matt Hagel, on assists from O’Brien and Mese, tied the game at 2 with 8:51 left in the first. Barnum would score again for Juneau for a 3-2 lead at the end of one period.
However, Juneau would outscore Kenai 6-1 in the second to take command of the game.
“We made adjustments and improved from the first to the second period,” Juneau coach Luke Adams said. “We came out flat. Kenai had the momentum at first.
“The guys came together in the locker room and got back to the game plan.”
Adams said captains Zack Hebert, Barnum and Jones did a good job of regrouping the team after the first period.
Kasey Watts had two other scores for the Crimson Bears, while Ryan Moritz, Jones, Quin Gist and Simon Mariss added tallies.
Thursday, Juneau outshot Homer 47-19 but lost 4-2 due to the work of SoHi netminder Billy Yoder. Adams said all of Friday’s goals helped erase Thursday’s frustration.
“It was a relief for some of our guys,” Adams said. “It was nice to see them rewarded for hard work.”
Farley-Robinson made 25 saves for the Crimson Bears. Bailey Maxson got to him for an unassisted goal in the second, while O’Brien, assisted by Stefan Gelosa, scored in the third.
“He made some nice saves and battled the same way the whole game,” Adams said.
Tilly said the Kards have a young squad that is still coming together.
“We’re still learning, finding our strengths and weaknesses, and working on our chemistry in practice,” Tilly said. “We need to find the right line combinations, matching strengths and weaknesses, and experience with inexperience.”
He said the good news is the Kards were able to roll three lines and two sets of defensemen, which is the minimum depth of talent necessary to be successful.
Williams had 22 saves.
Homer hockey finishes 0-2-1 in Palmer
The Homer hockey squad finished 0-2-1 in the weekend Palmer Hockey Showdown, falling to Wasilla 7-1 on Friday and North Pole 5-2 on Saturday.
Friday, after a scoreless first period, Garrett Conroy, Porter Schachle and Russell Harren scored in the second before Demitry Kuzmin was able to cut it to 3-1.
However, Conroy, Schachle and Harren each added their second goals of the game in the third at Wasilla cruised to victory.
Saturday, North Pole took a 1-0 lead after the first. Charlie Menke scored in the second to tie the game, but the Patriots led 2-1 headed to the third.
After North Pole pushed the lead to 3-1 in the third, Kuzmin cut it to 3-2 for the Mariners before the Patriots closed the game with a couple of goals.
Crimson Bears 12, Kardinals 4
Juneau 3 6 3 —12
Kenai 2 1 1 —4
First period — 1. Kenai, Mercado (un.), 0:31; 2. Juneau, Morehouse (un.), 1:36; 3. Juneau, Barnum (un.), 4:02; 4. Kenai, Hagel (O’Brien, Mese), 6:09; 5. Juneau, Barnum (N. Hebert), 7:31. Penalties — Juneau 1 for 2:00.
Second period — 6. Juneau, Watts (Dale, Barnum), 2:04; 7. Juneau, Watts (Dale), 2:46; 8. Kenai, Maxson (un.), 4:28; 9. Juneau, Liebelt (Z. Hebert), 6:29; 10. Juneau, Gist (Z. Hebert, Liebelt), 7:38; 11. Juneau, Liebelt (Monsef), 10:02; 12. Juneau, Liebelt (M. Hebert, Gist), 10:49. Penalties — Juneau 1 for 2:00; Kenai 1 for 2:00.
Third period — 13. Juneau, Mariss (Corrigan, Monsef), 2:31; 14. Juneau, Moritz (Barnum, Watts), 4:09; 15. Kenai, O’Brien (Gelosa), 10:12; 16. Juneau, Jones (Watts), 7:05. Penalties — Kenai 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal — Juneau 13-11-10—34; Kenai 10-12-7—29.
Goalies — Juneau, Farley-Robinson (29 shots, 25 saves); Kenai, Williams (34 shots, 22 saves).
Wasilla 7, Homer 1
First period — no scoring.
Second period — 1. Wasilla- Conroy (Schachle) 12:13; 2. Wasilla- Schachle (Harren, Conroy) 4:39; 3. Wasilla- Harren (Brunnhoelzl, Stephens) 2:00; 4. Homer- Kuzmin (Butcher) 00:03.
Third period — 5. Wasilla- Harren (Conroy) 10:41; 6. Wasilla- Engan (Harren, Brunnhoelzl) 10:26; 7. Wasilla- Conroy (Schachle, O. Matson) 8:40; 8. Wasilla- Schachle (Harren, D. Matson) 4:01.
Shots on goal: Homer 8-6-5—22, Wasilla 10-15-14—39; Saves: Homer- Swanson 10-12-10—32; Wasilla- Curry 8-5-6—21.
North Pole 5, Homer 2
First period — 1. North Pole- Donovan (Laszloffy) 6:50.
Second period — 2. Homer- Menke (unassisted) 8:20; 3. North Pole- Donovan (Laszloffy, Latham) 2:14.
Third period — 4. North Pole- Donovan (Laszloffy, Groesbeck) 10:25; 5. Homer- Kuzmin (B. Larson) 9:40; 6. North Pole- Frarey (unassisted) 8:05; 7. North Pole- Laszloffy (Donovan) 0:57.
Shots on goal: North Pole 11-11-12—34, Homer 12-8-10—30, Saves: North Pole- Walker 12-7-9—28, Homer- H. Larson 10-10-9—29.
Kardinals 3, Crimson Bears 2
Juneau 0 1 1 —2
Kenai 2 1 0 —3
First period — 1. Kenai, Mese (O’Brien, Gelosa), 6:14; 2. Kenai, Hagel (Mese, Bulot), 13:23. Penalties — Juneau 3 for 6:00; Kenai 2 for 4:00.
Second period — 3. Kenai, O’Brien (Lingafelt), 5:39; 4. Juneau, Jones (Dale, Watts), 7:43. Penalties — Juneau 2 for 4:00; Kenai 1 for 2:00.
Third period — 5. Juneau, Z. Hebert (Dale), 10:10. Penalties — Juneau 2 for 4:00; Kenai 5 for 10:00.
Shots on goal — Juneau 11-11-15—37; Kenai 9-3-6—18.
Goalies — Juneau, Farley-Robinson (18 shots, 15 saves); Kenai, Williams (37 shots, 35 saves).