Weekend prep hockey roundup

  • By Staff Report
  • Saturday, January 17, 2015 11:57pm
  • Sports

A full weekend of North Star Conference hockey on the Kenai Peninsula ended with the three teams from the Matanuska-Susitna valleys bunched on top of the standings.

There are 10 total league games to play. Palmer jumped to the top of the standings with a perfect weekend on the Peninsula.

The Moose (6-1-0 in the league) finished the trip with a 3-1 victory over Kenai Central at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Saturday. The Kardinals fell to 2-6-0 in the conference with the loss.

Colony is 5-1-1 in the league and went 2-1 on the trip to the Peninsula. The Knights beat Soldotna 5-0 at the sports complex Saturday. SoHi fell to 1-6-1 in the league with the loss.

Wasilla, at 5-2-1, is just behind Colony in the standings. Wasilla also was 2-1 on the weekend, and won 3-0 Saturday at Homer. The Mariners are 2-5-1.

On Tuesday, Soldotna is at Homer, while Thursday Homer comes to visit Kenai at the sports complex. SoHi and Kenai then wrap the regular season with a game Jan. 31.

“These are the big games to play — the games against the local kids always mean a little bit more,” Kenai coach Michael Tilly said. “We’re looking forward to taking on Soldotna and Homer and it all starts with the preparation at practice.”

Palmer 4, Soldotna 3

The Moose survived a wild finish for the North Star Conference win Friday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

After a scoreless first period, Darren Fish gave the Moose a 1-0 lead with 14 minutes left in the second period. But Levi Hensley would score at the 11:40 mark for the Stars for a tie game.

Then came a crucial point in the game, when Palmer was able to kill a five-minute major.

Right after the penalty, Cole Clements, who was serving the penalty, scored with 3:35 left in the period for a 2-1 lead.

“That was huge,” Palmer coach Eric Troisi said after his team moved to 4-1 in the league. “Cole Clements made a big play.”

With 5:37 left in the third period, Valary Dietz put the Moose up 3-1, but Soldotna answered at the 2:37 mark with an unassisted goal from Justice Miller.

However, at 1:53, Palmer went back up 4-2 when Chris Dojka lit the lamp.

Not done yet, and with goalie Billy Yoder pulled for the extra attacker, Soldotna’s Ty Fenton waited for Palmer goalie Cody Grogan to fall down and scored from a tough angle for a 4-3 game with 1:09 to play.

With 14 seconds left, SoHi earned a faceoff in the Palmer zone and SoHi coach Derek Urban called timeout.

The Stars won the faceoff and had several great chances in a scrum in front of the net.

“I jumped up and down thinking it was in several times,” Urban said.

The Stars had lost 8-2 to Palmer earlier in the season, and Urban said the game showed his team’s improvement.

Soldotna also is emerging from a midseason scoring slump.

“In the middle of the season, I think we were trying to be too fancy,” Urban said. “What we’ve been emphasizing with the boys in the last part of the season is to put the puck on net.”

Yoder had 21 saves on 25 shots.

Troisi said the game was a little close for comfort after having a 4-2 lead late, but he gave credit to Soldotna for not giving up.

He also gave credit to Dietz and Matthew Bembenek for solid games. Grogan had 23 saves on 26 shots.

Wasilla 4, Kenai Central 2

The Warriors used a strong third period to come back from a two-goal deficit and top the Kardinals on Friday at the sports complex.

Kenai’s Dalton Dosko, on assists from Levi Mese and Cody Arbelovsky, had the lone goal of the first period.

Dosko then put the Kards up 2-0 in the second period, but Garrett Conroy cut the gap to 2-1 heading into the third period.

In the third period, Russell Harren, Luke Schruf and Braden Brunnhoelzl scored for the Warriors.

Kiana Verplanke made 11 saves for Wasilla, while Nate O’Lena had 34 saves for the Kards.

Homer 6, Colony 5

Two quick three-goal spurts gave the host Mariners a North Star Conference victory Friday.

Robby Larson, Kiril Sanarov and Garrett Butcher had the Mariners up 3-0 before five minutes were even gone in the first period.

Colony had the gap cut to 3-2 heading into the third on goals from Cole Bloemer and Josh Boyer.

But in the third, Homer would score three goals in less than two minutes. Sanarov had the first two to complete his hat trick, then assisted Clem Tillion on the third with 8:33 left in the game.

Colony stormed back with goals from Cade Havel, Otto Thiele and Shawn Mitchell, but could not find the equalizer.

Markian Polushkin had 30 saves for Homer.

Friday

Mariners 6, Knights 5

Colony 1 1 3 —5

Homer 3 0 3 —6

First period — 1. Homer, Larson (Butcher), 0:15; 2. Homer, Sanarov (un.), 2:16; 3. Homer, Butcher (Larson, D. Kuzmin), 4:44; 4. Colony, Bloemer (Hessinger), 12:00. Penalties — Colony 3 for 6:00; Homer 1 for 2:00.

Second period — 5. Colony, Boyer (Thiele), 11:26. Penalties — Colony 1 for 2:00; Homer 1 for 2:00.

Third period — 6. Homer, Sanarov (un.), 4:42; 7. Homer, Sanarov (un.), 5:42; 8. Homer, C. Tillion (Sanarov), 6:27; 9. Colony, Havel (Foster), 9:22; 10. Colony, Thiele (Vincent), 10:10; 11. Colony, Mitchell (Eller, Boyer), 13:03. Penalties — Colony 3 for 6:00; Homer 1 for 2:00.

Shots on goal — Colony 8-15-12—35; Homer 9-4-7—20.

Goalies — Colony, Diltz (9 shots, 6 saves), Doss (11 shots, 8 saves); Homer, Polushkin (35 shots, 30 saves).

Warriors 4, Kardinals 2

Wasilla 0 1 3 —4

Kenai 1 1 0 —2

First period — 1. Kenai, Dosko (Mese, Arbelovsky), 3:39. Penalties — Wasilla 1 for 2:00; Kenai 1 for 2:00.

Second period — 2. Kenai, Dosko (un.), 10:29; 3. Wasilla, Conroy (Morrison, Schruf), 11:47. Penalties — Wasilla 1 for 2:00; Kenai 1 for 2:00.

Third period — 4. Wasilla, Harren (Tubbs, Brunnhoelzl), 1:19; 5. Wasilla, Schruf (Brunnhoelzl, Marks), 5:02; 6. Wasilla, Brunnhoelzl (Morrison), en, 14:25.

Shots on goal — Wasilla 11-12-15—38; Kenai 4-4-5—13.

Goalies — Wasilla, Verplancke (13 shots, 11 saves); Kenai, O’Lena (37 shots, 34 saves).

Moose 4, Stars 3

Palmer 0 2 2 —4

Soldotna 0 1 2 —3

First period — none. Penalties ­— Palmer 3 for 6:00; Soldotna 2 for 4:00.

Second period — 1. Palmer, Fish (Savel, Foster), 1:00; 2. Soldotna, Hensley (un.), 3:20; 3. Palmer, Clements (Dietz), 11:22. Penalties — Palmer 2 for 7:00; Soldotna 1 for 2:00.

Third period — 4. Palmer, Dietz (Clements, Foster), 9:23; 5. Soldotna, Miller (un.), 12:25; 6. Palmer, Dojka (un.), 13:07; 7. Soldotna, Fenton (Miller, Lott), 13:51. Penalties — none.

Shots on goal — Palmer 6-11-8—25; Soldotna 8-6-12—26.

Goalies — Palmer, Grogan (26 shots, 23 saves); Soldotna, Yoder (25 shots, 21 saves).

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