Soldotna’s Braxton Urban skates off with the puck while Palmer’s Nathan Hooks and Soldotna’s Levi Brenner battle along the boards Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Braxton Urban skates off with the puck while Palmer’s Nathan Hooks and Soldotna’s Levi Brenner battle along the boards Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Palmer hockey beats SoHi with controversial OT goal

The puck takes a lot of weird bounces in the game of hockey.

The Soldotna Stars were the victims of a weird bounce Thursday night, and it cost them a possible victory.

Palmer escaped with a 3-2 overtime win over SoHi at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex with a controversial goal halfway through the eight-minute overtime period. As a Stars skater tried to clear the puck behind the SoHi net, Palmer’s Darian Wilson got a stick on it and managed to poke the puck in for a game-winning goal.

However, there was confusion on both benches as the puck appeared to have made it past SoHi goalie Corbin Wirz from behind, never crossing the goal line. After several minutes of SoHi skaters trying to appeal to the referees by pointing out at least two holes in the netting, including one at the seam connecting the net and left post, the officials finally called the goal good and handed the win to the Moose.

SoHi head coach Indy Walton was disappointed with how the finish was settled.

“I’m very confident (it wasn’t a goal),” Walton said. “I’m disappointed with the refs, there was enough evidence to overturn it. Without a doubt.”

Walton’s chief complaint was with the apparent lack of inspection by the officials before the game. In addition to the netting, the ice also was deemed unfit to play on early in the third period, leading to a brief timeout to let the ice dry after the Zamboni resurfacing left pools of water in areas of the rink.

The result of the excess water indirectly led to a Palmer goal just 79 seconds into the third period when the puck dragged to a stop between the goal line and right faceoff circle, allowing a Palmer skater to reach it before a SoHi player.

“We still got one point for the tie, but it could’ve been two points for a win,” Walton said.

The loss dropped SoHi to 1-6-1 overall and 0-2 in the North Star Conference.

The wild ending was preceded by a frenetic final few minutes of regulation that saw the Stars rally from a 2-0 deficit with a pair of goals by Galen Brantley III. Brantley III scored with 3:52 remaining in the game to cut Palmer’s lead to 2-1, then tied it up with 2:02 left, forcing overtime.

Before Brantley’s late game heroics, Palmer goaltender Cale Winder played the hero role with a shutout that lasted over 41 minutes. Winder finished with 32 saves on 34 shots for the night. Wirz had 28 saves on 31 shots for SoHi.

The first 27 minutes, 8 seconds, went scoreless until Palmer struck first. Noah Kiel finally broke the deadlock with 2:52 remaining in the second with a chip off a rebound from Darian Wilson in front of the SoHi net, rewarding the Moose’s patience on the offensive ice.

The Stars nearly had a game-tying goal with seconds left in the period when Braxton Urban lifted a shot up on Winder, only to see Winder deflect the puck and knock it away with a second swipe.

Nathan Hooks scored early in the third period to put Palmer up 2-0, slipping the puck by a diving Wirz on a wraparound shot, with help from Owen Hayes and Luke Theisen.

Hooks was called for a roughing penalty with 8:28 to go, but SoHi produced a mostly ineffective power play.

After scoring two goals to tie it up, Brantley was hit with a roughing call at the end of regulation, putting the two teams at four-on-four to begin the eight-minute overtime period.

The Stars will face Wasilla tonight at 5:45 p.m. at the Sports Complex and Colony at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Colony 8, Kenai Central 0

Cole Doss stopped 23 shots in a shutout victory to send the Knights to a North Stars Conference win over Kenai on Thursday at the Kenai Multipurpose Facility.

Foster Riekena scored twice and added an assist for Colony and Cooper Smith had a five-point night with a goal and four assists.

“We made a couple mistakes and Colony capitalized on them,” said Kenai head coach Jacob Newton. “We’ve got to keep working and get better.”

Kenai dropped to 1-1 in the conference with the loss.

Newton said he did not see a vast difference in talent between the two sides, but reiterated that the Knights took advantage of Kenai’s errors.

“We’ve got to keep our feet moving, keep going hard on our forecheck, and keep the intensity up,” he said.

Kenai goaltender Josh Tree was pelted with 45 shots, making 37 saves.

Kenai hung with Colony for the first period, only giving up a short-handed goal to Tae Evans with two minutes left.

The Knights returned with fire in the second period, scoring three times to boost the lead to 4-0. Riekena and Smith teamed up to help Mitchell Diltz score with eight minutes left to push the lead to 2-0, and Smith scored one 31 seconds later to make it 3-0.

Kenai hosts Palmer tonight at 7 p.m. and Wasilla Saturday at noon.

Homer 4, Wasilla 1

After Wasilla’s Porter Schachle scored unassisted in the second period to give his team a 1-0 lead, the host Mariners came back with four unanswered goals to notch the North Star Conference victory.

Schachle scored with 10:37 left in the second period, but by 7:08 left in the period, Isaiah Nevak, JJ Williamson and Dimitry Kuzmin had all scored for the Mariners. Spencer Warren salted away the game for Homer by scoring with a second remaining in the game.

Hunter Warren had 24 saves for the Mariners, while Aaron Campbell made 23 saves for the Warriors.

Homer hosts Colony on Friday at 7 p.m. and Palmer at noon Saturday.

Thursday

Moose 3, Stars 2

Palmer 0 1 1 1 —3

Soldotna 0 0 2 0 —2

First period — no scoring. Penalties — none.

Second period — 1. Palmer, Kiel (Wilson), 12:08. Penalties — none.

Third period — 2. Palmer, Hooks (Hayes, Theisen), 1:19; 3. Soldotna, Brantley (Montague, Schmelzenbach), 11:08; 4. Soldotna, Brantley (Walton, Schmelzenbach), 12:58. Penalties — Soldotna 1 for 2:00; Palmer 2 for 4:00.

Overtime — 5. Palmer, Wilson (unassisted), 3:40. Penalties — Soldotna 1 for 2:00; Palmer 1 for 2:00.

Shots on goal — Soldotna 11-9-11-3—34; Palmer 11-10-8-2—31.

Goalies — Soldotna, Wirz (31 shots, 28 saves); Palmer, Winder (34 shots, 32 saves).

Knights 8, Kardinals 0

Colony 1 3 4 —8

Kenai 0 0 0 —0

First period — 1. Colony, Evans (Smith), SH, 12:52. Penalties — Kenai 1 for 5:00; Colony 1 for 2:00.

Second period — 2. Colony, Diltz (Riekena, Smith), 6:52; 3. Colony, Smith (unassisted), 7:23; 4. Colony, Amato (Smith, Hessinger), 11:01. Penalties — Kenai 3 for 6:00; Colony 1 for 2:00.

Third period — 5. Colony, Riekena (Diltz), 1:56; 6. Colony, Korynta (Fike), 3:18; 7. Colony, Riekena (Smith, Evans), 9:07; 8. Colony, Hessinger (Franzen), 14:46. Penalties — Kenai 2 for 7:00.

Shots on goal — Kenai 7-8-8—23; Colony 11-15-19—45.

Goalies — Kenai, Tree (45 shots, 37 saves); Colony, Doss (23 shots, 23 saves).

Mariners 4, Warriors 1

Wasilla 0 1 0 — 1

Homer 0 3 1 — 4

First period — none. Penalties — Homer 1 for 2:00.

Second period — 1. Wasilla, P. Schachle (un.), 4:23; 2. Homer, Nevak (Weston, Ross), 5:57; 3. Homer, Williamson (Blakely, Nevak), 7:11; 4. Homer, Kuzmin (un.), 7:52. Penalties — Wasilla 1 for 2:00; Homer 2 for 4:00.

Third period — 5. Homer, S. Warren (Kuzmin, Weston), 14:59. Penalties — Wasilla 2 for 4:00.

Shots on goal — Wasilla 5-10-10—25; Homer 10-10-7—27.

Goalies — Wasilla, Campbell (27 shots, 23 saves); Homer, H. Warren (25 shots, 24 saves).

Soldotna’s Braxton Urban, Levi Brenner and Dylan Walton pursue Palmer’s David Moore on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Braxton Urban, Levi Brenner and Dylan Walton pursue Palmer’s David Moore on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Palmer’s Zach Nelius keeps Soldotna’s Galen Brantley III from executing a wraparound on Palmer goalie Cale Winder on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Palmer’s Zach Nelius keeps Soldotna’s Galen Brantley III from executing a wraparound on Palmer goalie Cale Winder on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Colony’s Jake Hessinger and Kenai Central’s Claire Bryant battle for the puck along the boards Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, at the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Colony’s Jake Hessinger and Kenai Central’s Claire Bryant battle for the puck along the boards Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, at the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central goaltender Josh Tree makes a save against Colony on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, at the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central goaltender Josh Tree makes a save against Colony on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, at the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

More in Sports

Kenai’s Reid Titus collects high fives from the bleachers after making an unlikely shot during a basketball game at Nikiski Middle/High School in Nikiski, Alaska, on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Tuesday hoops: Kenai sweeps Nikiski

The Kenai girls and boys teams both came out on top

Martin Flores skis into the finish to win the 40-kilometer Double Tour while carrying an Alaska flag during the Tour of Tsalteshi at Tsalteshi Trails near Soldotna, Alaska, on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Skiers, bikers turn out for Seventh Annual Tour of Tsalteshi

Racers came from across the Kenai Peninsula and beyond and competed in a variety of lengths and modes of travel

ski tease
Soldotna girls, Kenai boys win borough ski meet

The event took place Saturday at Lookout Mountain Recreation Area

hoops tease
Monday hoops: CIA sweeps Nanwalek

The host Ninilchik boys and girls swept Effie Kokrine

Ninilchik’s Riley Tucker moves down the court during a basketball game at Ninilchik School in Ninilchik, Alaska, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. Tucker was named tournament MVP and three-point champion at the Ninilchik Invitational Tournament. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Nikiski girls, Ninilchik boys win Ninilchik Invitational Tournament

Both teams took wins over Unalaska in title matches on Saturday

Kenai River’s Brady Engelkes and Anchorage’s Will Shepard battle for control of the puck during a hockey game at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Wolverines sweep Brown Bears

The Bears are 12-29-4-0, have 28 points and are 8th in the Midwest Division

Seward’s Ava Jagielski moves with ball as Kenai’s Avia Miller blocks during a basketball game at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Friday hoops: Nikiski and Ninilchik advance in Invitational, Kenai and Seward split

On Friday, Kenai split games with Seward, Soldotna split games with Mountain… Continue reading

Example of a culvert blocked by natural materials on Port Graham Road. (Photo by Sarah Apsens/USFWS)
Refuge Notebook: Connecting fish and community to resources in Port Graham

Streams that baby salmon live in provide shelter from predators, food and conditions for optimal growth

Most Read