The Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association Ice Hawks Tier II Girls 14U team advanced to the semifinals of the USA Hockey National Championships in Lansing, Michigan, before losing Sunday.
The Ice Hawks started the day with a big 2-1 upset of the Troy (Michigan) Sting in the quarterfinals, then lost to the Amherst (New York) Knights 6-1 later in the day in the semifinals.
That means the KPHA squad ends the season as one of the top four Tier II Girls 14U teams in the country, and as the only KPHA team to ever win a Pacific District tournament.
Troy was the only team in the tournament to win every game in regulation in the three pool play games, while the Ice Hawks were the seventh team in pool play.
That didn’t stop the Ice Hawks from pulling off the upset.
Troy took the lead in the first period on a goal by Sara Krauseneck, but KPHA answered before the end of the first period on a power-play goal by Allison McCarron, assisted by Kylan Lakshas and Brenna McCarron.
There was no scoring until the third period, when Anna Shelden netted the game-winner. Leah Johnson and Sierra Longfellow assisted on the goal.
Jayce Lakshas was in the net for the Ice Hawks, who were outshot by Troy 16-14, but outshot the team from Michigan 5-1 in the final period.
In the semifinal, KPHA kept right on rolling when Johnson, assisted by Journey Miller, had the lone goal of the first period.
But Amherst got a pair of goals in the second period from Amanda Gaffney. Gaffney would complete the hat trick in the third period, and four other Amherst players would tack on goals.
KPHA was outshot 27-17 in the game. Mackenzi Powell had six saves on 10 shots, while Jayce Lakshas had 15 saves on 17 shots.