Service scored early in the third period to take a 2-1 victory over Soldotna on Thursday in the opening game of the Peninsula Ice Challenge at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.
With 14 minutes, 34 seconds, left in the third period, Leo Karcz had the game-winner, assisted by Brandon Vukasin.
After a scoreless first period, the Stars took the lead in the second period. With 11:39 left in second period, Hunter Lott lit the lamp on assists from Kenny Griffin and Coel Nelson.
However, Service tied the game with 3:18 left in the second period. Blaine Sharrock scored on assists from Lachlan Cockrell and Michael Stephens.
Cody Harvey made 25 saves for the Stars, while Angus Klancher had 20 saves for the Cougars.
Kenai 3, West Valley 3
The Kards and Wolfpack played to a tie in the night game at the tournament.
West Valley got on the board first when Mike Olsen scored with 10:27 left in the first period.
“We came out kind of flat, but our guys picked it up and played a really good third period and overtime,” Kenai coach Pete Iverson said.
The Kards tied the game with 9:41 left in the first when Dalton Dosko scored on assists from Michael Tilly and Jake Eubank.
West Valley went back on top in the second with 2:57 left. Logan Arpino had the goal.
But second later, TJ Wagoner got loose behind the Wolfpack defense and evened the score.
With just 26 seconds left in the second period, Gabe Rorkin put West Valley ahead again.
The Kards then pressed for the equalizer in the third period.
“We had quite a few shots,” Iverson said. “Jake Eubank, Dalton Dosko and TJ Wagoner were all tearing it up.”
Freshman Ross Hanson, on assists from Nathan Zorbas and Eubank, tied the game with 4:12 left.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Iverson said of the freshman. “He’s a really good team player. He works as hard for his teammates as he works for himself.”
Justin Alvey made 17 saves for Kenai, while Lane Wood had 19 saves for West Valley.
“Alvey kept us in it,” Iverson said.
Today, the Peninsula Ice Challenge continues when Kenai faces Service at 5 p.m. and West Valley takes on Soldotna at 7:15 p.m.
Saturday, Kenai and Soldotna face off at 7:15 p.m., while West Valley and Service play at 2:45 p.m.
Cougars 2, Stars 1
Service 0 1 1 —2
Soldotna 0 1 0 —1
First period — none. Penalties — Service 1 for 2:00.
Second period — 1. Soldotna, Lott (Griffin, Nelson), 3:21; 2. Service, Sharrock (Cockrell, Stephens), 11:42. Penalties — Service 1 for 2:00; Soldotna 1 for 2:00.
Third period — 3. Service, Karcz (Vukasin), 0:26. Penalties — Service 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal — Service 7-10-10—27; Soldotna 2-4-15—21.
Goalies — Service, Klancher (21 shots, 20 saves); Soldotna, Harvey (25 shots, 23 saves).
Kardinals 3, Wolfpack 3
West Valley 1 2 0 —3
Kenai 1 1 1 —3
First period — 1. West Valley, Olsen (Boots, Sawchuk), 4:33; 2. Kenai, Dosko (Tilly, Eubank), 5:19. Penalties — West Valley 1 for 2:00.
Second period — 3. West Valley, Arpino (Skorulski), 12:03; 4. Kenai, Wagoner (Johnson), 12:10; 5. West Valley, Rorkin, 14:34. Penalties — West Valley 2 for 4:00; Kenai 4 for 19:00.
Third period — 6. Kenai, Hanson (Zorbas, Eubank), 10:48. Penalties — West Valley 3 for 6:00.
Overtime — none. Penalties — none.
Shots on goal — West Valley 8-6-4-2—20; Kenai 6-5-7-4—22.
Goalies — West Valley, Wood (22 shots, 19 saves); Kenai, Alvey (20 shots, 17 saves).