WASILLA — Late in the first period, standing strong on the left side of the crease, Soldotna goaltender Cody Harvey put his pads in front of a Colony blast from the point. The puck glanced of Harvey, and slid just past the blue ice of the crease, at the far right side of the goal.
Colony forward Morgan McJimsey, one of the top goal scorers in the Valley, crashed and reached with his stick toward the puck. But before McJimsey could tap the puck into an open piece of the net, Harvey dove from the left to the right and blanketed the puck.
There was no getting past Harvey.
That was the kind of day he was having. That was the kind of weekend Harvey was having.
Harvey made 21 stops to lead the Stars to a 2-0 win over the Colony Knights at the Menard Arena on Saturday afternoon, and notch his second shutout in as many days.
“Harvey has been our guy the last few years. I think he’s the most underrated goalie in the conference,” Soldotna head coach Aaron Swanson said. “What he’s done this weekend is what he’s been doing for us every night.”
Harvey, who recorded a 12-shot shutout in a 5-0 win over Palmer on Friday, has not allowed a goal in seven periods of hockey. Swanson couldn’t quote Harvey’s numbers, but knew they are outstanding.
“His goals against is extremely low, his saves percentage is extremely high,” Swanson said.
Colony, meanwhile, has been a bit snakebit on the offensive side. After exploding for 11 goals during an 11-0 rout of Kenai on Thursday, the Knights were blanked in back-to-back outings Friday and Saturday. Colony head coach Jamie Smith said his team ran into a hot goalie Saturday.
“We ran into that two games in a row. The Homer goalie was unbelievable,” Smith said, referring to his team’s 1-0 loss to the Mariners on Friday.
Colony didn’t allow a Homer shot during the final 23 minutes of the Homer game, Smith said. SoHi was able to pepper Colony goalie Colton Beebe with 30 shots Saturday.
Dalton Pearson and Nick Wrobel both scored Saturday to help Soldotna improve to 2-1 during the three-game tour of the Valley. Pearson placed a shot from the right wing circle in the upper shelf of the far side of the net early in the second period to take the lead. Wrobel scored on his team’s first shift of the third period, just 13 seconds in, to give the Stars the two-goal advantage.
Wrobel was a special teams star for the Stars on Friday night, netting a shorthanded tally and power-play goal against the Moose. In its lone loss of the weekend, a 3-2 defeat at Wasilla Thursday, Soldotna allowed the Warriors to take a quick two-goal lead.
That wasn’t happening again on Friday.
“We got a lot better starts against Palmer and Colony than we did in the Wasilla game,” Swanson said.
Wrobel won a race for a loose puck, beating a pair of Palmer players up the left wing. That created a breakaway, and Wrobel slipped a shot by Moose goalie Ashton Good to give the Stars a 1-0 advantage.
“Anytime you get a shorthanded goal, they’re big,” Swanson said. “We were excited to get it there.”
A potential turning point in the game came early in the second period after Soldotna captain Jarrett Urban was whistled for a five-minute major for checking from behind and issued a 10-minute game misconduct. With Soldotna clinging to the slim one-goal lead, the Stars managed to kill the long Palmer power play.
“Anytime you take a penalty and can kill it off, it always builds energy for the team,” Swanson said. “That’s exactly what it did for us.”
Fueled by that new energy, Soldotna found the back of the net three times in the second period. Toma Johnson, Wrobel and Pearson scored in the second period. Matti Silta added a goal in the third for Soldotna, which finished with 40 shots on goal.
Soldotna 2, Colony 0
Saturday, Menard Arena
First period — no scoring.
Second period — 1. Soldotna- Pearson (Perletti) 12:17.
Third period — 2. Soldotna- Wrobel (unassisted) 14:47.
Shots on goal: Soldotna 7-12-11—30, Colony 9-5-7—21; Saves: Soldotna- Harvey 9-5-7—21, Colony- Beebe 7-11-10—28.
Soldotna 5, Palmer 0
Friday, MTA Events Center
First period — 1. Soldotna- Wrobel (Griffen) sh 5:26.
Second period — 2. Soldotna- T. Johnson (O’Lena, Pearson) 8:02; 3. Soldotna- Wrobel (Perletti, Silta) pp 4:07; 4. Soldotna- Pearson (Perletti, J. Miller) 1:50.
Third period — 5. Soldotna- Silta (Pearson, Griffen)
Shots on goal: Soldotna 11-16-13—40, Palmer 4-4-4—12; Saves- Soldotna- Harvey 4-4-4—12; Palmer- Good 10-13-12—35.
Kards win in OT
PALMER — TJ Wagoner scored with 1:16 left in the extra period to lead Kenai to a 4-3 overtime win over the Palmer Moose Saturday at the MTA Events Center in Palmer. The win improved Kenai to 1-3 in the conference.
Wagoner collected two goals in the game. Jake Eubank had a goal and three assists, including the assist on Wagoner’s game-winner. Dalton Dosko also scored. Michael Tilly added two assists, while Nathan Zorbas also had an assist.
Jacob Inukai led Palmer with two goals in the loss. Darren Fish also scored. Inukai scored early in the third period to tie the game at 3.
Justin Alvey made 47 saves for the Kards, and Pete Iverson said it was his goaltender’s best game of the year.
“I was really glad to see the guys play together as a team and come together at the end to get the win,” Iverson said.
WASILLA — Senior Brett Keene collected his first hat trick of his varsity hockey career and led the Wasilla Warriors to a 6-2 win over the Homer Mariners on Saturday afternoon at the Brett Memorial Ice Arena in Wasilla.
Keene recorded an unassisted tally early in the first to push his team’s lead to a pair of goals, and completed his hat trick with two goals during a 29-second span on the second period.
Cody Butcher, Colton Fletcher and Cooper Hanson also scored for the Warriors, who outshot Homer 53-28. The Mariners scored both of their goals during the second period.
Friday, captain Tyler Hansen scored his first career varsity goal to help lead his team to a 5-1 win over Kenai at the Brett. Hansen, a defenseman, rounded out the scoring for Wasilla in the third.
Tanner Schachle scored twice in the win, and Troy Verplanke added the goal.
Wasilla finished the three-day weekend 3-0 against Peninsula opponents.
Wasilla 6, Homer 2
Saturday, Brett Arena
First period — 1. Wasilla- Butcher (Schachle, Fletcher) 1:49; 2. Wasilla- Keene (unassisted) 5:25.
Second period — 3. Homer- Kizzia (Duggar) 3:20; 4. Wasilla- Keene (Apangalook) 5:15; 5. Wasilla- Keene (Cooley, Verplanke) 5:44; 6. Homer- K. Sanarov (D. Sanarov, Roberts)) 14:49.
Third period — 7. Wasilla- Hanson (Keene, Carricaburu) 1:33; 8. Wasilla- Fletcher (unassisted) 3:36.
Shots on goal: Homer 4-17-7—28, Wasilla 23-17-13—53; Saves: Homer- A. Sanarov 21-15-11—47, Wasilla- Massie 4-15-7—26.
Wasilla 5, Kenai 1
Friday, Brett Arena
First period — 1. Wasilla- Schachle (Fletcher, Hanson) 2:22.
Second period — 2. Wasilla- Verplanke (Apangalook, Hansen) 11:47.
Third period — 3. Kenai- Eubank (Zorbas) pp 2:21; 4. Wasilla- Schachle (Fletcher) 3:29; 5. Wasilla- Hansen (Carricaburu, Hanson) 7:04.
Shots on goal: Kenai 3-0-5—9, Wasilla 9-19-13—41; Saves: Kenai- Alvey 8-17-11—36; Wasilla- Schoenberg 3-0-5—8.