The Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association Tier II Girls 14U team lost its opening game Thursday at the USA Hockey National Championships in Lansing, Michigan.
The Ice Hawks fell to the Gilmour Sabres of Ohio 4-3.
KPHA fell into a big hole early in the game but came back to make it close. Annmarie Fitzgerald scored twice in the first period for a 2-0 game after one. Then Eliza Heller of Gilmour had the first goal of the second period. But KPHA’s Anna Shelden, assisted by Kayla Norbeck, scored before the end of the second for a 3-1 game.
Fitzgerald opened the scoring in the third for her hat trick, but the Ice Dogs came right back about two minutes later when Mychaela Pitta scored on an assist from Allison McCarron. Shelden added a second goal late, but KPHA could not find the equalizer.
Jayce Lakshas had 13 saves for the Ice Hawks.
The Ice Hawks now have two games left to try and work their way into the bracketed portion of the tournament, which starts Sunday.
Today, KPHA faces the Falcons of Illinois. Saturday, the Ice Hawks face off against the New Jersey Colonials.