The Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association Under-16 Ice Hawks began pool play at the Tier II National Championships with a victory in Troy, Mich., on Wednesday morning.
The Hawks defeated the Howard Huskies (Md.) 4-1, putting them in great position to advance to the next round.
Clayton Longfellow scored two goals in the second period to put the Hawks ahead, and Trevor Wagoner also had two points with a goal and an assist. Jake Eubank provided a goal, and Craig Lott, Kenny Flanders and Tommy Bowe each notched an assist as well.
The Ice Hawks’ defensive front proved effective as well, holding off the Huskies on six power plays, while getting a power-play goal of their own (on four attempts) from Eubank.
After an opening period that featured no shots on goal from either team, both teams scored on all their attempted shots in the second period. Wagoner had the opening goal on a shorthanded attempt 7 minutes, 24 seconds left in the period, but Doug Noonan knotted it up less than two minutes later.
Longfellow's goal only 30 seconds later was ultimately the game winner, and he added an insurance goal less than two minutes after that, giving Kenai a 3-1 edge.
Nate O’Lena picked up the win in goal, saving 25 of the 26 shots sent his way.
The Ice Hawks will continue pool play today against the Utah Jr. Grizzlies at 5 p.m. local time — 1 p.m. in Alaska.
Ice Hawks 4, Huskies 1
Kenai 0 3 1 —4
Howard 0 1 0 —1
1st Period — None. Penalties — KPHA 2 for 4:00; Howard 1 for 4:00.
2nd Period — 1. KPHA, Wagoner (Bowe), sh, 12:36; 2. Howard, Noonan (Taylor), 14:18; 3. KPHA, Longfellow (Lott, Flanders), 14:48; 4. KPHA, Longfellow (unassisted), 16:39. Penalties — KPHA 2 for 4:00; Howard 2 for 4:00.
3rd Period — 5. KPHA, Eubank (Wagoner), pp, 18:53. Penalties — KPHA 2 for 4:00; Howard 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal — KPHA 0-3-19—22; Howard 0-1-25—26.
Goalies — KPHA, O’Lena (26 shots, 25 saves); Howard, Wiser (22 shots, 18 saves).
Power plays — KPHA 1 for 4; Howard 0 for 6.