North Pole goalie Moses Halbert spreads out to make a save Thursday night against Kenai Central at the Peninsula Ice Challenge at the Kenai Multi-purpose Facility. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

North Pole goalie Moses Halbert spreads out to make a save Thursday night against Kenai Central at the Peninsula Ice Challenge at the Kenai Multi-purpose Facility. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai, SoHi lose on opening night of Ice Challenge

North Pole goaltender Moses Halbert made one mistake early, then stayed perfect the rest of the night.

Halbert stood tall in net for the Patriots, stopping 40 of 41 shots Thursday night at the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility to lead North Pole to an 8-1 win over Kenai Central at the Peninsula Ice Challenge tournament.

“Amazing,” said Patriots head coach Edward Halbert. “Just getting the whole team to play from the beginning to the end with intensity. It wasn’t perfect, but they had intensity.”

At the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex, the Chugiak Mustangs prevailed 6-1 over the Soldotna Stars.

The tournament continues today with a 4:30 p.m. matchup between Soldotna and North Pole at the Sports Complex, and a 7:30 p.m. game between Kenai and Chugiak in Kenai.

Saturday in Soldotna, Chugiak and North Pole meet at 2 p.m. and SoHi and Kenai face off at 4:30 p.m. to wrap up the Peninsula Ice Challenge.

Thursday night, the home team Kardinals scored early to get on the board first as Bailey Maxson struck on a wrist shot, with help from Miles Marston, from between the faceoff circles just 80 seconds into the game to put Kenai up 1-0.

From there on out, however, nothing got by Halbert, who was a perfect 30 for 30 through the second and third periods.

“We could not get a bounce to go our way,” said Kenai head coach Jacob Newton. “We raided them, and we just could not finish.”

Kenai goalie Carson Koppes made 27 saves on 34 shots before being pulled in the third period for Jackson Cross, who stopped two of three.

In all, seven different players scored for North Pole, including four skaters who earned their first career goals for the Patriots — Dylan Storey, Hunter Matteson, Cody Benjamin and Devon Clark. Benjamin netted two goals for North Pole.

After Kenai’s opening strike, the Patriots tied it up 4:35 later on a one-on-one rush down the ice by Daniel Crutcher, then took the lead 33 seconds later on a slapshot from over 20 feet out by Storey.

Mistakes by Kenai led to three penalties in the opening period, and North Pole capitalized as Mason Wilbur tacked on a power play goal with 3:28 left in the period to give the Patriots a 3-1 edge after one.

North Pole scored with 5:48 left in the second period to go up 4-1 as Matteson cleaned up a rebound in the crease.

Chugiak 6, Soldotna 1

The Mustangs received a hat trick from Luke Momblow in topping the Stars in the first round of the Peninsula Ice Challenge on Thursday.

Journey Miller scored for Soldotna in the third period when Chugiak already owned a 5-0 lead.

Peninsula Ice Challenge

Thursday

Patriots 8, Kardinals 1

North Pole 3 1 4 —8

Kenai 1 0 0 —1

First period — 1. Kenai, Maxson (Marston), 1:20; 2. North Pole, Crutcher (unassisted), 5:55; 3. North Pole, Storey (unassisted), 6:28; 4. North Pole, Wilbur (Keith), PP, 11:32. Penalties — Kenai 3 for 6:00.

Second period — 5. North Pole, Matteson (Benjamin), 9:12. Penalties — North Pole 5 for 13:00; Kenai 4 for 16:00.

Third period — 6. North Pole, Benjamin (unassisted), 6:23; 7. North Pole, Laszloffy (unassisted), 10:48; 8. North Pole, Clark (unassisted), 11:19; 9. North Pole, Benjamin (Crutcher), 14:54. Penalties — Kenai 3 for 6:00.

Shots — Kenai 11-16-14—41; North Pole 7-14-16—37.

Goalies — Kenai, Koppes (34 shots, 27 saves), Cross (3 shots, 2 saves); North Pole, Halbert (41 shots, 40 saves).

Mustangs 6, Stars 1

Chugiak 1 3 2 — 6

Soldotna 0 0 1 — 1

First period — 1. Chugiak, Momblow (un.), 14:01. Penalties — Soldotna 1 for 2:00.

Second period — 2. Chugiak, Young (un.), 7:01; 3. Chugiak, Momblow (un.), 8:17; 4. Chugiak, Lindberg (Epple), 10:15. Penalties — Chugiak 2 for 4:00.

Third period — 5. Chugiak, Lindberg (Kosinski, McCormick), sh, 3:28; 6. Soldotna, Miller (Waetm), sh, 8:14; 7. Chugiak, Momblow (Epple, Lindberg), pp, 9:39. Penalties — Chugiak 2 for 4:00; Soldotna 1 for 2:00.

Shots on goal — Chugiak 20-20-10—50; Soldotna 3-5-8—16.

Goalies — Chugiak, Watts (3 shots, 3 saves, Brelvogel (5 shots, 5 saves), Keliher (7 shots, 7 saves); Soldotna, Wirz (40 shots), Powell (4 shots).

Kenai Central skater Riley Graves (right) and North Pole’s Caleb Peters get into a shoving match Thursday night at the Peninsula Ice Challenge at the Kenai Multi-purpose Facility. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central skater Riley Graves (right) and North Pole’s Caleb Peters get into a shoving match Thursday night at the Peninsula Ice Challenge at the Kenai Multi-purpose Facility. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central goaltender Carson Koppes attempts to block a shot by a North Pole skater Thursday night at the Peninsula Ice Challenge at the Kenai Multi-purpose Facility. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central goaltender Carson Koppes attempts to block a shot by a North Pole skater Thursday night at the Peninsula Ice Challenge at the Kenai Multi-purpose Facility. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

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