One month exactly after tying Homer 2-2, the Soldotna Stars hockey team found themselves in the same position — leaving the ice after a scoreless game with Palmer on Friday afternoon at the Soldotna Sports Center.
The Stars had many chances — 40 total — but could not once slip the puck past Palmer goalie Ashton Good.
“He played out of his mind,” Palmer coach Brad Hansen said. “To take 40 shots on goal and not let one in, that’s crazy. That’s our best guy.
“It’s a great tie for us. I just told them to keep playing and they held them off.”
As close as the score (or lack thereof) showed, the game was not. SoHi outshot Palmer 40-10 in the game, including 7-4 in the extra eight-minute overtime period, but simply came up short.
“Their goaltender played really well, stopped shots and even with traffic in front of him, played the puck well,” Soldotna coach Aaron Swanson said. “That being said, we had a lot of perimeter shots, we weren’t creating as much traffic as we’d like to, we weren’t going as hard as we should’ve been, and we definitely weren’t getting the rebounds we should have been.”
Cody Harvey had the shutout for the Stars.
Late in the game, Soldotna pressed Palmer even harder, resulting in multiple moments of chaos in front of the net that had the crowd on their feet. With 1:01 left in overtime, Soldotna’s Dalton Pearson caught a breakaway with two Palmer players trailing, looking at the net, but mistimed his move and failed to knock the puck in.
“I was telling them to create more traffic and get the rebounds and hope the goalie doesn’t see the shots,” Swanson said. “It’s part of the whole process, just getting through games and learning and growing. We hope to be peaking at the region and state tournaments.”
Kenai Central 1, Palmer 0, OT
After Good used his 40 saves to force a scoreless tie with Soldotna on Friday, the Moose rode Good into overtime the following afternoon. But Kenai managed to net the game-winner.
TJ Wagoner knocked in a rebound to score the shorthanded, game-winning goal midway through the overtime frame to give the Kardinals a 1-0 NSC win over the Moose Saturday afternoon at the Soldotna Sports Center.
Jake Eubank created the play, picking up the puck at center ice. Eubank raced up the left wing and put a shot on goal. Good was able to make the initial save, but Wagoner crashed and forced the loose puck into the Palmer net.
Before that Wagoner goal, Good had not allowed a goal in more than two full games. His shutout streak actually stretched back to Thursday when he kept the Mariners scoreless during the third period of a 3-1 win over the Moose. Before Wagoner’s goal on Saturday, Good had not allowed a score since the 1:35 mark of the second period of the loss to Homer. That’s 118 minutes of scoreless hockey, if you’re counting.
Kenai coach Pete Iverson said Justin Alvey, Wagoner and Jake Eubank had great games.
Soldotna 0, Colony 0
The Stars skated to a scoreless tie at the Soldotna Sports Center for the second straight night.
Harvey once again had the shutout for the Stars, but did not pick up the victory. Colony also had tied Kenai on Thursday.
Soldotna holds a 9-5-3 overall season record, and 3-2-3 in the North Star Conference.
Wasilla 9, Kenai 0
The Warriors took control early of a Friday afternoon game with the Kards and never let up, resulting in a lopsided score at the Soldotna Sports Center.
“Our goal was to keep playing the same way, and not get away from doing what we were supposed to do,” Wasilla coach Jeff Urban said. “We were getting the puck really deep and that was the plan.”
A day after tying Colony 3-3, the optimism and energy from that game never appeared for Kenai, according to coach Pete Iverson.
“It definitely wasn’t there, we came out flat, we never really found that spark we needed to get going,” Iverson said. “Wasilla came out strong right off the bat, and we were just holding on the rest of the game.”
For the Kards, it seemed the only bright spot was the third period, which, until Wasilla’s Jack Reeves scored with 28 seconds left, almost saw Kenai hold Wasilla scoreless. Wasilla outshot Kenai 33-9 overall.
“Our goal was to at least win the third period, but we let our guard down and they knocked that late one in,” Iverson said. “We try to focus on winning the small battles and getting the small things done.”
Kenai now holds a season record of 1-16-1 and will play Palmer at the sports center on Saturday at 2:15 p.m.
Colony 4, Homer 1
The visiting Knights defeated the Mariners on Friday night on a hat trick from Morgan McJimsey. All three of McJimsey’s goals came in the second period.
Homer led 1-0 after the first period, after a shot from Dennis Sanarov was netted 10:13 into the game, but after McJimsey had his way with the Mariners, Homer wasn’t able to mount a comeback.
Jonathan Boyer helped McJimsey out with two assists, and had a goal of his own in the third period (assist from none other than McJimsey). Homer outshot Colony 22-16.
Wasilla 3, Homer 2
Wasilla capped a perfect weekend with a win over Homer in Homer on Saturday afternoon.
Colton Fletcher scored twice to help Wasilla stay undefeated in North Star Conference play. Troy Verplancke also scored for the Warriors.
Stars 0, Moose 0, OT
Soldotna 0 0 0 0 —0
Palmer 0 0 0 0 —0
First period — None. Penalties — Soldotna 2 for 4:00; Palmer 1 for 2:00.
Second period — None. Penalties — Soldotna 0; Palmer 1 for 2:00.
Third period — None. Penalties — Soldotna 1 for 2:00; Palmer 2 for 4:00.
Overtime — None. Penalties — Soldotna 1 for 2:00; Palmer 0.
Shots on goal — Soldotna 7-13-13-7—40; Palmer 1-1-4-4—10.
Goalies — Soldotna, Harvey (10 shots, 10 saves); Palmer, Good (40 shots, 40 saves).
Warriors 9, Kardinals 0
Wasilla 4 4 1 —0
Kenai 0 0 0 —0
First period — 1. Wasilla, Fletcher (unassisted), 3:47; 2. Wasilla, Carricaburu (Harren), 6:16; 3. Wasilla, Keene (Carricaburu), 11:25; 4. Wasilla, Fletcher (Cooley, Schachle), 11:42. Penalties — Wasilla 0; Kenai 0.
Second period — 5. Wasilla, Schachle (Fletcher, Schruf), 1:16; 6. Wasilla, Keene (Cooley), 1:47; 7. Wasilla, Schruf (Jensen, Walker), 9:49; 8. Wasilla, Fletcher (Schachle, Butcher), 10:42. Penalties — Wasilla 1 for 2:00; Kenai 1 for 2:00.
Third period — 9. Wasilla, Reeves (unassisted), 14:32. Penalties — Wasilla 2 for 4:00; Kenai 0.
Shots on goal — Wasilla 10-15-8—33; Kenai 3-5-1—9.
Goalies — Wasilla, Verplancke (9 shots, 9 saves); Kenai, Alvey (33 shots, 24 saves).
Knights 4, Mariners 1
Colony 0 3 1 —4
Homer 1 0 0 —1
First period — 1. Homer, D. Sanarov (Duggar), 10:13. Penalties — Colony 2 for 4:00; Homer 2 for 4:00.
Second period — 2. Colony, McJimsey (Boyer), :58; 3. Colony, McJimsey (Boyer, Foster), 3:11; 4. Colony, McJimsey (Sanders), 7:35. Penalties — Colony 2 for 4:00; Homer 3 for 17:00.
Third period — 5. Colony, Boyer (McJimsey), :25. Penalties — Colony 2 for 4:00; Homer 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal — Colony 5-7-4—16; Homer 8-6-8—22.
Goalies — Colony, Beebe (22 shots, 21 saves); Homer, A. Sanarov (16 shots, 12 saves).
Kenai 1, Palmer 0 OT
Saturday, Soldotna Sports Center
Palmer 0 0 0 0 —0
Kenai 0 0 0 1 —1
First period — no scoring.
Second period — no scoring.
Third period — no scoring.
Overtime — 1. Kenai- Wagoner (Eubank) sh 4:23.
Shots on goal: Palmer 8-7-11-1—26, Kenai 10-5-3-3—21; Saves: Palmer- Good 10-5-2-3—20, Kenai- Alvey 8-7-11-1—26; Penalties: Palmer 4 for 8, Kenai 7 for 14.