WASILLA — In the competitive North Star Conference, seeding in the upcoming tournament may come down to tiebreakers. And that might make Colony’s 3-0 win over Soldotna on Thursday that much bigger. Freshman Josh Boyer bagged a pair of goals and an assist to lead Colony to the win, and help the Knights sweep the two-game regular-season series against the Stars.
“It’s big, gigantic,” Colony head coach Jamie Smith said. “I don’t think Colony has done that in about 10 years.”
Colony edged SoHi 2-1 in Soldotna earlier this season.
Thursday, Boyer netted three points and Colony netminder Colton Beebe made 21 saves to earn the shutout.
“Beebe was really good tonight,” Smith said of his goalie, who made 14 saves in the second period.
Colony scored a pair of third-period goals to help cement the win. Early in the third, Boyer scored right off a faceoff in the SoHi defensive zone to give the Knights the 2-0 lead. Boyer won the draw, and pushed the puck back to defenseman Logan Sanders. At the point, Sanders blasted a shot that was deflected into the net by Boyer.
“We got a big game out of Boyer,” Smith said.
Less than five minutes later, Boyer set up Colony’s third goal. Skating between the circles, Boyer took a shot. SoHi goalie Cody Harvey made the save but left the puck at the bottom of the left wing circle. Isaac Vincent, sitting all alone, was able to hammer the puck into the net.
Smith said Boyer’s third-period goal was really big. But getting the third goal was huge for a squad that had scored two of its three prior NSC wins by only one score.
“Even with a two-goal lead, you’re always weary about what could happen,” Smith said.
Boyer opened the scoring with a power-play goal late in the first period. Gunner Stadem and Curtis Foster picked up assists on that goal.
Soldotna had its best opportunities in a wide-open second period, in which the Stars outshot Colony 14-10.
Harvey made 21 saves in the SoHi loss.
Colony 3, Soldotna 0
Thursday, Menard Arena
First period — 1. Colony- Boyer (Stadem, Foster) pp 2:54.
Second period — no scoring.
Third period — 2. Colony- Boyer (Sanders) 13:15; 3. Colony- Vincent (Boyer, Bloemer) 8:22.
Shots on goal: Soldotna 4-14-3—21, Colony 4-10-6—20; Saves: Soldotna- Harvey 3-10-4—17, Colony- Beebe 4-14-3—17.
Warriors beat Homer
WASILLA — Wasilla used a big third period to score a 6-1 North Star Conference win over Homer on Thursday at the Brett Arena in Wasilla.
The Warriors outshot the Mariners 14-2 and scored four goals during the third period, as the Warriors improved to 5-1 in NSC play. Troy Verplancke led Wasilla with a three-point night. Verplancke tallied a short-handed goal, the eventual game-winner, in the second. He added a goal and an assist in the third period. Cooper Hanson, Tanner Schachle, Jack Reeves and Forrest Strick also scored for WHS.
Kiana Verplancke stopped 14 shots to earn the win. Markian Polushkin made 35 saves in the loss. Tommy Bowe scored Homer’s only goal.
Wasilla 6, Homer 1
Thursday, Brett Arena
First period — 1. Homer- Bowe (Reutov) 12:46; 2. Wasilla- Hanson (Schachle, Hansen) 2:34.
Second period — 3. Wasilla- T. Verplancke (Schruf) sh 3:53.
Third period — 4. Wasilla- Schachle (Hanson, Carricaburu) 8:19; 5. Wasilla- T. Verplancke (Strick, Conroy) 5:21; 6. Wasilla- Reeves (Schruf, Butcher) 3:16; 7. Wasilla- Strick (Conroy, T. Verplancke) 0:26.
Shots on goal: Homer 6-7-2—15, Wasilla 14-13-14—45; Saves: Homer- Potushkin 13-12-10—35; Wasilla- K. Verplancke 5-7-2—14.
Kards fly past Moose
KENAI — Sparked by two players with at least six points, Kenai rolled to a 10-3 win over Palmer at the MTA Events Center Thursday night.
Ross Hanson bagged four goals and three assists in the win, while Jake Eubank finished with three goals and three assists. The pair helped blow a close game wide open. The North Star Conference rivals were knotted at 2-2 after the end of the first, but outscored Palmer 6-1 in the second period. Kenai scored seven unanswered goals in the victory.
Aiden LaFrance and Noah Richards recorded goals during the first period for the Moose. Matthew Bemeneck added a goal in the second period that gave the Moose a 3-2 lead.
But then it was all Kards. TJ Wagoner tied the score for Kenai, 13 seconds after the Bemeneck goal. Hanson and Eubank each had two goals in the second period.
Palmer freshman goalie Cody Grogan recorded 29 saves in the loss.
Kenai 10, Palmer 3
Thursday, MTA Events Center
First period — 1. Palmer- Richards (Dojka) 12:07; 2. Palmer- LaFrance (Wright) 11:12; 3. Kenai- Olson (Hanson, Arbelovsky) 5:52; 4. Kenai- Wagoner (Zorbas) 0:19.
Second period — 5. Palmer- Bembenek (Richards) 10:25; 6. Kenai- Wagoner (Eubank, Hanson) 10:12; 7. Kenai- Hanson (Eubank, Johnson) 9:40; 8. Kenai- Eubank (Johnson) 4:59; 9. Hanson (Tilly) 4:26; 9. Kenai- Eubank (Johnson) 0:21; 10. Kenai- Caldwell (Hanson, Johnson) 0:04.
Third period — 11. Kenai- Hanson (unassisted) 10:00; 12. Kenai- Hanson (Eubank) 5:47.
Shots on goal: Kenai 12-17-10—39, Palmer 5-8-7—20; Saves: Kenai- O’Lena 3-7-7—17, Palmer- Grogan 10-11-8—29.