Sports Briefs

Posted: Monday, January 10, 2005

Kenai Central loses to Dimond

The Kenai Central hockey team lost a 5-1 contest to Dimond Saturday in a nonconference game in Anchorage.

Kenai's lone goal of the game came in the second period. Dimond had 30 shots, while the Kardinals had 10. Dan Silver made 25 saves for Kenai.

"He played outstanding," Kenai coach Nate Kiel said of Silver. "The whole team was outstanding. I'm really proud of the team. Dimond just has a very strong club."

Kiel said the Kardinals, now 9-4-2 overall, played much better during the weekend road trip to Anchorage than they had just before the Christmas break. The road trip included a Friday victory over Chugiak. Kiel said he's been around Kenai hockey a long time, and can't remember another Kardinals team beating the Mustangs.

"We had a tough couple of weekends," Kiel said of Kenai's games just before the break. "We played a lot of games in a short period, spent a lot of time on the road and battled illness and injury."

Kenai will play East at 7 p.m. at the Soldotna Sports Center Saturday.

Homer drops pair to Delta

The Homer hockey team dropped a pair of games to Delta Friday and Saturday at the Kenai Multipurpose Facility.

The Friday game, a Greatland Conference contest, was a 4-1 loss. The Saturday game, a nonconference affair, was an 8-6 loss. After the losses, Homer stood at 6-1-1 in conference and 10-3-2 overall.

Homer coach John Butcher said his team had defeated Delta 5-3 early in the season. However, he said the lack of ice for his team to practice on in Homer is making things tough.

"They've had a ton of ice time this winter," Butcher said of Delta. "We knew the second half would be tough, because a lot of these teams are spending a lot of time on ice."

Nikiski loses three on road

The Nikiski hockey team lost three road games Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Nikiski coach Donald Torres said the games were part of a learning process for his team, which has eight freshmen. Torres said he was happy with the road trip because his team made strides forward in each game.

Thursday, Nikiski lost at Glennallen 11-0. Despite the loss, Torres said freshman Sam Zulkanycz did a great job in net.

Friday, the Bulldogs traveled to Kenny Lake. Kenny Lake had defeated Glennallen 12-0 a short time ago. Nikiski lost to Kenny Lake 7-3, with Mike O'Brien netting two goals and Trent Eckert collecting the other goal.

Torres said the team was committing too many penalties in the first period. He called a timeout, and Nikiski's play improved. The Bulldogs even outscored Kenny Lake 2-0 in the third period. Nikiski outshot Kenny Lake 27-15 in the game. Torres said Zulkanycz played another good game.

Saturday, Nikiski lost to Kenny Lake 6-0, outshooting Kenny Lake 36-21. Nikiski does not have a backup goalie, so when Zulkanycz hit the ice in the second period there were some tense moments. He got up and played a solid game.

"It's basically a freshman team," Torres said. "I'm proud of the kids. We're making many positive steps."

Nikiski plays the Skyview junior varsity Tuesday, Kenny Lake Thursday and Houston Friday. The place of the games is uncertain. It hinges on whether Nikiski can get its home ice ready.

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