Soldotna beat crosstown rival Kenai Central 12-2 on the third and final day of the Peninsula Ice Challenge tournament at the Soldotna Sports Center, wrapping up the tournament crown at the same time by winning all three of the weekend’s games.
Juneau beat North Pole 4-2 on Saturday to finish second in the tournament with a 2-1 record. North Pole finished 1-2, and Kenai finished fourth with a 0-3 record.
“It was the best effort we’ve seen from the kids in a while, top to bottom, and the majority of the scoring for us did not come from our top line tonight, which was good to see,” Soldotna coach Aaron Swanson said.
Shayne Miller, Nick Wrobel and Jonas Perletti each had two goals, and nine different SoHi players scored.
Jonathan Granger and Ty Fenton both scored in the first period to get Soldotna off on the right foot, but with a 2-0 deficit after one period, Kenai was surely not going to let the Stars get away that easy.
“My guys kept their composure, they played hard throughout,” Kenai coach Pete Iverson said. “They’re discouraged, but we’ll improve on it and do better next time.”
Soldotna made it rough for Kenai early in the second frame, scoring three times in the span of 1 minute, 21 seconds, to give themselves a 5-0 lead before Kenai scored their first of the night, when TJ Wagoner put the puck in at the 2:18 mark.
However, by the time the third period rolled around, the Stars seemingly had the game out of reach, and only added to their total by scoring four goals in the period. Soldotna recorded 28 shots on net, while Kenai had nine.
“Kenai kept battling, but we just had a good night,” Swanson said. “It’s the third year in a row for us winning the tournament, and definitely a goal for us is to just come out and compete.
“It’s a nice way to get the year started and get a chance to get a look at players.”
Soldotna 6, North Pole 1
They say that good (and bad) things come in groups of three, and so it was for the Soldotna hockey team on Friday at the Soldotna Sports Center, beating the North Pole Patriots on the second day of the Peninsula Ice Challenge tournament. Soldotna scored three goals in the first period and three in the third.
Jonas Perletti, Dalton Pearson and Jarrett Urban were busy scoring as a trio in the first period, as Urban had two goals and Perletti chipped in a goal with assists from the other two.
“They were working very good together, and they kind of take the load off the other’s backs,” Soldotna coach Aaron Swanson said.
It was Kenny Griffin and Shayne Miller working together in the third period, each getting a goal and an assist to the other. North Pole attempted a rally in the second period, outshooting Soldotna 12-5, including a goal by Wyatt Conrow with over five minutes to go.
“Not much to say about the second (period), there just wasn’t much energy from our team, they didn’t come out and play,” Swanson said. “We talked about that after the second period, and how we need to play a complete game. In the first and third periods we played great, but in the second they controlled us, so give them credit for continuing to battle.”
Even with the pressure they felt in the middle frame, Soldotna regrouped and came out with three goals to seal the win.
Juneau 4, Kenai 2
The Kardinals continued to struggle in the Peninsula Ice Challenge tournament Friday at the Soldotna Sports Center, dropping a 4-2 game against the Juneau Crimson Bears.
Dalton L’Allier of North Pole put the Patriots on the scoreboard 6:09 into the game with assists from Ethan Seid and Zach Easton.
Seid had two assists of his own while slapping in a goal of his own in the second period, and Kenai coach Pete Iverson said the Kards worked to find the energy needed to compete.
“We came out flat-footed,” Iverson said. “We couldn’t find the energy tonight for some reason. We would rally for a few minutes, and then fall back again. We did that a few times tonight.”
The efforts of Nathan Zorbas and TJ Wagoner gave Kyle Olson a clear view of the net late in the second period, and Olson put the puck in for a Kenai goal. The Kards put up several rallies late in the second period, and the trend continued to the final period.
Jake Eubanks got a wide open shot at the goal and scored with just over two minutes to play in the game, but even though Kenai pulled goalie Ben Mills with two and a half minutes left, the score remained the same.
Juneau outshot Kenai 13-4 in the first period, and recorded 28 shots overall, while Kenai had 21. By the final period, it was Kenai that was outshooting the Bears, going 8-6.
Juneau was coming off a loss on the opening day of the tournament to Soldotna, and head coach Dave McKenna said the team was able to readjust.
“We pretty much handed the game over to the kids and talked to them this morning and said you guys need to make your own adjustments,” McKenna said. “It takes a good smart team to adjust well, and start helping each other and acting like a team and taking charge tonight. It was a step in the right direction for sure.”
Stars 12, Kardinals 2
Soldotna 2 6 4 —12
Kenai 0 1 1 —2
1st period — 1. Soldotna, Granger (Griffin), 1:45; 2. Soldotna, Fenton (O’Lena, Wrobel), 14:19. Penalties — Soldotna 1 for 2:00.
2nd period — 3. Soldotna, Urban (Pearson, Perletti), :08; 4. Soldotna, Perletti (unassisted), :24; 5. Soldotna, Silta (Perletti), 1:29; 6. Kenai, Wagoner (Tilly, Mese), 2:18; 7. Soldotna, Perletti (S. Miller, Wrobel), 10:24; 8. Soldotna, Wrobel (Miller), 12:46; 9. Soldotna, S. Miller (Wrobel), 14:48. Penalties — Soldotna 2 for 4:00; Kenai 4 for 16:00.
3rd period — 10. Soldotna, Wrobel (J. Miller, S. Miller), 2:50; 11. Soldotna, S. Miller (Wrobel, Urban), 4:03; 12. Soldotna, A. Johnson, (unassisted), 6:40; 13. Soldotna, Pearson (Perletti, O’Lena), 12:00; 14. Kenai, Wagoner (unassisted), 14:11. Penalties 1 for 2:00; Kenai 3 for 6:00.
Shots on goal — Soldotna 12-10-6—28; Kenai 3-4-2—9.
Goalies — Soldotna, Pritchard (9 shots, 7 saves); Kenai, Mills (28 shots, 16 saves).
Stars 6, Patriots 1
Soldotna 3 0 3 —6
North Pole 0 1 0 —1
1st period — 1. Soldotna, Urban (Pearson, Perletti), :08; 2. Soldotna, Perletti (Pearson, Urban), 10:56; 3. Soldotna, Urban (Perletti, O’Lena), 13:54. Penalties — Soldotna 2 for 4:00; North Pole 1 for 2:00.
2nd period — 4. North Pole, W. Conrow (M. Conrow), 9:43, pp. Penalties — Soldotna 2 for 4:00; North Pole 3 for 14:00.
3rd period — 5. Soldotna, Miller (Lott, Griffin), 6:26; 6. Soldotna, Griffin (Miller), 8:37; 7. Soldotna, Pearson (unassisted), 11:01. Penalties — Soldotna 1 for 12:00; North Pole 3 for 6:00
Crimson Bears 4, Kardinals 2
Kenai 0 1 1 —2
Juneau 1 3 0 —4
1st period — 1. Juneau, L’Allier (Seid, Easton), 6:09. Penalties — Kenai 4 for 16:00; North Pole 1 for 2:00.
2nd period — 2. Juneau, Heifetz (Easton), 2:04; 3. Juneau, Tseu (Seid), 3:00; 4. Juneau, Seid (Heifetz, Zigarlick), 9:25; 5. Kenai, Olson (Zorbas, Wagoner), 11:35. Penalties — North Pole 3 for 14:00; Kenai 1 for 2:00.
3rd period — 6. Kenai, Eubank (Wagoner, Zorbas), 12:54. Penalties — North Pole 2 for 4:00; Kenai 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal — North Pole 4-9-8—21; Kenai 13-9-6—28
Goalies — Kenai, Mills (28 shots, 24 saves); Juneau, Pritchard (21 shots, 19 saves)