Soldotna forward Galen Brantley III fires a shot wide on Palmer goalie Cody Grogan on Friday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna forward Galen Brantley III fires a shot wide on Palmer goalie Cody Grogan on Friday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Weekend hockey roundup: Kenai, SoHi get wins over Palmer

The Soldotna hockey team focused on the penalty kill in practice this week. The Stars also had a team meeting preaching more effort after Thursday’s 7-0 loss to Wasilla.

Both things came in handy in Friday’s 2-0 North Star Conference victory over Palmer at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

The Stars held the Moose scoreless on six power plays, and scored on one of their three extra-man chances. SoHi concluded the three-game homestand weekend with a 3-0 loss to Colony on Saturday, dropping the Stars to 11-7-1 overall and 3-4-1 in the league.

“Our penalty kill was spot on,” Soldotna coach Derek Urban said after Friday’s win. “This was the best our penalty kill has been all year.”

Penalty kills take a lot of work and willingness to block shots. Soldotna had both in abundance after its performance Thursday.

“They took it personal they gave up seven goals,” Urban said. “They had a team meeting and talked about playing the defensive zone better.”

Seniors Ethan Brown, Matthew Daugherty, Levi Hensley, Corey Hanson, Jace Urban and Trevor Witthus were honored before the third period.

Hensley was one of those to speak at the team meeting. He told the team that the parents were paying a lot of money and the team was practicing hard for an hour and 15 minutes each day.

The senior defenseman asked what the point of that sacrifice was if players were not going to go all out in the games.

“I just asked if everybody was all in or not,” Hensley said.

Hensley then backed up his words on the ice. SoHi went on the power play early in the first, and Braxton Urban won a faceoff to Hensley, who fired a shot on net which was tipped in by Galen Brantley III with 13:27 left in the first.

It was the team-leading 14th goal of the year for the freshman.

But that was all that would get past Palmer goalie Cody Grogan, who made 28 saves. Palmer coach Dean Wilson also gave credit to Garrett Ropka for a strong game on defense.

The teams have been close all season, with a tie and a Soldotna shootout victory previously, so it was up to Billy Yoder and his squad to keep the Moose off the board.

Yoder made 18 saves for the shutout.

“For the last three years, when we limit the shots to 18, we have all the confidence in the world that Billy will make the saves he has to,” Urban said.

Hensley said the forwards, particularly Brown, Daugherty and Urban, did a great job of forechecking, then getting all the way back on defense. Many times, Palmer’s power play had a hard time gaining the zone.

“This is a very young team,” Wilson said. “There’s a lot of learning to do about playing special teams.

“They’re doing good except when it comes to playing the more aggressive teams.”

And the Stars definitely qualified as aggressive.

“We played faster, with a lot more effort,” Hensley said. “We were more physical and separated the body from the puck.”

Parker Lockwood ice the game with an empty-net goal with 15 seconds remaining.

Wilson said his team was a little lethargic. He wasn’t sure if being on the road was the cause.

“Our kids like to get out and play a good, fast-paced game,” he said. “We weren’t seeing a lot of that tonight.”

Kenai 9, Palmer 8, OT

The Kardinals scored a dramatic overtime North Star Conference victory Saturday for the program’s first win ever in the Kenai Multipurpose Facility.

Kenai started playing at the facility Thursday. After losses to Wasilla and Colony, the Kards made history in an unforgettable fashion, as both Levi Mese and Jakeb O’Brien had four goals to key the back-and-forth victory.

Palmer had the lead at 8-7 before O’Brien, assisted by Matt Hagel and Mese, scored with 3:04 left in the game to force overtime.

The Kardinals went on the power play 1:03 into the eight-minute overtime, then O’Brien clinched the victory with 6:28 showing on the clock, with assists from Hagel and Miles Marston.

Palmer had gone up 3-1 in the game, but Kenai stormed back with four unanswered goals — two by Mese and one apiece by O’Brien and Wyatt Harvey. After a Palmer goal, Mese and O’Brien scored before the end of the second period for a 7-5 advantage. But Palmer scored the first three goals of the third to take a one-goal lead and set up the dramatics by O’Brien.

Ryan Williams made 25 saves for the Kards, while Cale Winder had 24 saves for the Moose.

Colony 3, Soldotna 0

After two scoreless periods of play, the Knights broke open a conference meeting with SoHi with three third-period goals Saturday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

Foster Riekena finally solved SoHi goalie Billy Yoder with a goal two minutes into the third period to give Colony a 1-0 lead. Te’sean Evans and Jake Hessinger later scored a goal apiece to clinch the victory.

Yoder finished the day with 23 saves on 25 shots. The junior tender had fended off the first 21 shots he faced.

Wasilla 12, Homer 0

The visiting Warriors kept right on rolling on the Peninsula trip by shutting out the Mariners on seven shots.

Alex Engan had a hat trick, while Porter Schachle, Garrett Conroy and Dylan Abbott had two goals. Austin Stevens, Alex Clark and Lucas Gudz added tallies.

Wasilla 12, Kenai 2

Alex Clark had four goals and Porter Schachle added three as the Warriors notched a North Star Conference victory Friday at the Kenai Multipurpose Facility.

Levi Mese had a pair of tallies for the Kardinals, the second assisted by Wyatt Harvey and Claire Bryant.

Lucas Gudz and Alex Engan lit the lamp twice for the Warriors, while Garrett Conroy also scored.

Bryce Frazier saved 16 for Wasilla, while Ryan Williams stopped 35 for the Kardinals.

Colony 5, Homer 0

The visiting Knights got a 13-save shutout from Alex Gamez in notching a North Star Conference victory Friday.

After a scoreless first period, Otto Thiele started the scoring for the Knights in the second. Thiele would post another goal in the third period, while Brad Amato, Cooper Smith and Tristan Avoletta also lit the lamp.

Hunter Warren had 15 saves for Homer.

Friday

Stars 2, Moose 0

Palmer 0 0 0 — 0

Soldotna 1 0 1 — 2

First period — 1. Soldotna, Brantley III (Hensley, B. Urban), 1:33. Penalties — Palmer 2 for 4:00; Soldotna 3 for 6:00.

Second period — none. Penalties — Soldotna 3 for 6:00.

Third period — 3. Soldotna, Lockwood (un.), en, 14:45. Penalties — Palmer 2 for 4:00; Soldotna 2 for 4:00.

Shots on goal — Palmer 6-7-5—18; Soldotna 5-11-14—30.

Goalies — Palmer, Grogan (29 shots, 28 saves); Soldotna, Yoder (18 shots, 18 saves).

Power plays — Palmer 0 for 6; Soldotna 1 for 3.

Warriors 12, Kardinals 2

Wasilla 4 5 3 — 12

Kenai 1 0 1 — 2

First period — 1. Wasilla, Clark (Schachle, Harren), 3:14; 2. Wasilla, Schachle (Stephens, Bayliffe), 6:55; 3. Wasilla, Conroy (Massie), 8:11; 4. Kenai, Mese (un.), 10:40; 5. Wasilla, Clark (Schachle), 11:11. Penalties — Wasilla 2 for 7:00; Kenai 3 for 6:00.

Second period — 6. Wasilla, Clark (Stephens), 4:01; 7. Wasilla, Engan (Conroy), 4:23; 8. Wasilla, Gudz (Bayliffe), 4:43; 9. Wasilla, Schachle (Harren, Abbott), 5:27; 10. Wasilla, Schachle (un.), 8:06. Penalties — none.

Third period — 11. Wasilla, Engan (Stephens), 1:24; 12. Wasilla, Clark (Harren, Schachle), 4:31; 13. Wasilla, Gudz (Schachle, Dollick), 8:47.; 14. Kenai, Mese (Harvey, Bryant), 8:57. Penalties — Wasilla 2 for 4:00.

Shots on goal — Wasilla 21-12-14—47; Kenai 5-4-9—18.

Goalies — Wasilla, Frazier (18 shots, 16 saves); Kenai, Williams (47 shots, 35 saves).

Knights 5, Mariners 0

Colony 0 1 4 — 5

Homer 0 0 0 — 0

First period — none. Penalties — Colony 2 for 4:00.

Second period — 1. Colony, Thiele (Crosta), 5:45. Penalties — Colony 3 for 6:00; Homer 1 for 2:00.

Third period — 2. Colony, Thiele (Ketchum), 1:00; 3. Colony, Amato (Riekena), 4:02; 4. Colony, Smith (Evans, Ketchum), 8:05; 5. Colony, Avoletta (Vrana), 9:05. Penalties — Colony 2 for 4:00.

Shots on goal — Colony 5-8-7—20; Homer 1-6-6—13.

Goalies — Colony, Gamez (13 shots, 13 saves); Homer, Warren (20 shots, 15 saves).

Saturday

Warriors 12, Mariners 0

Wasilla 3 4 5 — 12

Homer 0 0 0 — 0

First period — 1. Wasilla, Schachle (un.), 3:12; 2. Wasilla, Engan (Conroy), 9:35; 3. Wasilla, Stevens (Abbott, Conroy), 12:10. Penalties — Wasilla 1 for 2:00; Homer 1 for 2:00.

Second period — 4. Wasilla, Abbot (un.), 3:07; 5. Wasilla, Abbott (Conroy), 9:05; 6. Wasilla, Conroy (Engan), 12:04; 7. Wasilla, Schachle (un.), 14:50. Penalties — Wasilla 1 for 2:00; Homer 2 for 4:00.

Third period — 8. Wasilla, Conroy (un.), 4:02; 9. Wasilla, Clark (Harren, Schachle), 9:13; 10. Wasilla, Engan (Conroy, Abbott), 8:09; 11. Wasilla, Engan (Abbott), 12:58; 12. Wasilla, Gudz (Dollick), 14:16. Penalties — Wasilla 1 for 2:00; Homer 2 for 4:00.

Shots on goal — Wasilla 11-15-9—35; Homer 3-2-2—7.

Kardinals 9, Moose 8, OT

Palmer 3 2 3 0 — 8

Kenai 4 3 1 1 — 9

First period — 1. Palmer, Keil (Ketterman), 1:42; 2. Palmer, Wilson (Keil), 5:20; 3. Kenai, Mese (O’Brien), 8:45; 4. Palmer, Wilson (Welch), 9:58; 5. Kenai, Harvey (un.), 11:01; 6. Kenai, O’Brien (Mese, Beiser), 11:44; 7. Kenai, Mese (un.), 11:51. Penlaties — Kenai 1 for 2:00.

Second period — 8. Kenai, Mese (Miller), 4:18; 9. Palmer, Theisen (un.), 6:23; 10. Palmer, Ketterman (un.), 11:25; 11. Kenai, O’Brien (Marston), 12:47; 12. Kenai, Mese (O’Brien) 14:37. Penalties — Palmer 3 for 6:00; Kenai 2 for 4:00.

Third period — 13. Palmer, Wilson (Ketterman, Welch), 1:51; 14. Palmer, Wilson (Ketterman), 5:56; 15. Palmer, Ketterman (Rosenberg, Welch), 9:32; 16. Kenai, O’Brien (Hagel, Mese), 11:56. Penalties — Palmer 1 for 2:00; Kenai 5 for 10:00.

Overtime — 17. Kenai, O’Brien (Hagel, Marston), 1:32. Penalties — Palmer 1 for 2:00.

Shots on goal — Palmer 12-11-10-0—33; Kenai 5-16-9-3—33.

Goalies — Palmer, Winder (33 shots, 24 saves); Kenai, Williams (33 shots, 25 saves).

Knights 3, Stars 0

Colony 0 0 3 — 3

Soldotna 0 0 0 — 0

First period — no scoring. Penalties — Colony 4 for 8:00; Soldotna 3 for 9:00.

Second period — no scoring. Penalties — Colony 2 for 4:00; Soldotna 2 for 4:00.

Third period — 1. Colony, Riekena (Avoletta, Vrana), 2:01; 2. Colony, Evans (Hessinger), 8:16; 3. Colony, Hessinger (Thiele), EN, 14:04. Penalties — Colony 3 for 6:00; Soldotna 3 for 6:00.

Shots on goal — Colony 10-11-5—26; Soldotna 5-2-8—15.

Goalies — Colony, Diltz (15 shots, 15 saves); Soldotna, Yoder (25 shots, 23 saves).

Palmer goalie Cody Grogan uses his pad to kick aside a shot by Soldotna’s Matthew Daugherty while Palmer’s Easton Armstrong defends Friday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Palmer goalie Cody Grogan uses his pad to kick aside a shot by Soldotna’s Matthew Daugherty while Palmer’s Easton Armstrong defends Friday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Corey Hanson moves the puck up the ice Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, against Palmer at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Corey Hanson moves the puck up the ice Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, against Palmer at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

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