Local squads did not fare well on the first day of the Peninsula Ice Challenge at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.
The day began with a 6-1 rout by Monroe Catholic over the Soldotna Stars, then ended with a 7-1 blowout by Service over Kenai Central.
“We had some breakdowns that they capitalized on,” said Soldotna head coach Indy Walton.
“We had a couple bad bounces that didn’t go our way,” added Kenai Central head coach Jacob Newton.
Against SoHi, Landon Bartels and Antonio Szumigala led the Rams with two goals each. Bartels finished with two assists as well for four points, while Ryan Michel and Evan Fritze had two assists each.
David Aley scored SoHi’s lone goal in the second period, just moments after a Monroe goal put the Rams up 4-0.
In the Kenai game, the Cougars received seven goals from seven different players in an astonishing display of depth. Ben Martensen provided the most impact with three points, a goal and two assists, to send Service to the win.
Wyatt Harvey chipped in Kenai’s only score with a puck that trickled into the net with just 2:25 left in the game.
As lopsided as the scorelines looked, both coaches had positive takeaways that hinted at an optimistic future for each program.
For SoHi, it was goalie Corbin Wirz, who was barraged by a wall of pressure all game long with 55 shots. Wirz stopped 49 shots in the loss, but Walton said being peppered by 55 shots isn’t easy for any goalie.
“That’s not a bad save percentage,” he said.
Monroe, the defending Greatland state champions, pulled out a 4-0 lead by the halfway point of the second period after outshooting SoHi 16-5 in the first period and 26-12 in the second.
After a power-play strike from Fritze put the Rams up four, the Stars responded immediately by taking the puck down ice and crashing the net. Utlimately, Aley knocked the puck in for a goal.
The momentum would be fleeting, however, as Fritze scored again with help from Bartels just 89 seconds later, and the Stars offense would be shut out from that point forward.
Kenai also received a gritty performance in goal from freshman Josh Tree, who stopped 39 of 46 shots sent his way. Tree kept numerous other shots out of the netting with outstretched pads and stick, and Newton praised the effort with a hint of regret.
“Josh had a lot of good saves,” he said. “We just had a couple deflections off a leg, a stick, things like that.”
Service outshot Kenai 31-13 in the first two periods combined, which yielded a 4-0 lead. The Kards also cost themselves with a handful of penalties, giving the Cougars an extra leg up.
Kenai Central will face Monroe today at 2:15 p.m., while Soldotna plays Service at 4 p.m. Saturday’s schedule pits Service and Monroe against each other at 1:30 p.m. and Kenai and SoHi at 4 p.m.
West 1, Homer 0
The Eagles scored early and held off the Mariners the rest of the way to clinch a nonconference victory Thursday in Anchorage.
West took advantage of the few penalties charged to Homer to score in the first period, getting a power play strike from Sawyer Courrier with 58 seconds left in the frame.
Darby Miller and Connor Batman shared the shutout in net for West. Miller stopped all seven shots he faces, while Batman saved nine.
Hunter Warren stopped 20 of 21 shots on goal for Homer.
Eagles 1, Mariners 0
Homer 0 0 0 —0
West 1 0 0 —1
1st period — 1. West, Courrier (Schwann), PP, 14:02. Penalties — West 2 for 4:00; Homer 1 for 2:00.
2nd period — no scoring. Penalties — Homer 1 for 2:00.
3rd period — no scoring. Penalties — West 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal — West 6-5-10—21; Homer 6-1-9—16.
Goalies — West, Batman (7 shots, 7 saves), Miller (9 shots, 9 saves); Homer, Warren (21 shots, 20 saves).
Peninsula Ice Challenge
Saturday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex
Rams 6, Stars 1
Soldotna 0 1 0 —1
Monroe 2 3 1 —6
1st period — 1. Monroe, Sanborn (Lannet), 2:53; 2. Monroe, Bartels (Ott, Michel), 3:32. Penalties — Monroe 2 for 4:00.
2nd period — 3. Monroe, Szumigala (Fritze), 3:46; 4. Monroe, Bartels (Fritze), PP, 9:05; 5. Soldotna, Aley (Yeager, Schmelzenbach), 9:14; 6. Monroe, Fritze (Bartels), 10:43. Penalties — Monroe 3 for 6:00; Soldotna 3 for 6:00.
3rd period — 7. Monroe, Szumigala (Michel, Bartels), 1:25. Penalties — Monroe 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal — Monroe 16-26-13—55; Soldotna 5-12-7—24.
Goalies — Monroe, Pasillas (24 shots, 23 saves); Soldotna, Wirz (55 shots, 49 saves).
Cougars 7, Kardinals 1
Kenai 0 0 1 —1
Service 2 2 3 —7
1st period — 1. Service, Martensen (Austin), PP, 6:29; 2. Service, Austin (Martensen), 10:58. Penalties — Service 1 for 2:00; Kenai Central 2 for 4:00.
2nd period — 3. Service, Kindred (Leety, Martensen), PP, 11:29; 4. Service, Clay (Martensen), 12:03. Penalties — Service 3 for 6:00; Kenai Central 3 for 6:00.
3rd period — 5. Service, Bourdon (Zobel), PP, 2:04; 6. Service, Hill (Homan), 7:31; 7. Service, Harris (Reem), 9:55; 8. Kenai Central, Harvey (Marston), 12:35.
Shots on goal — Service 19-12-15—46; Kenai Central 5-8-7—20.