The Soldotna hockey team improved its record to 13-3-1 on the year Saturday night with a 3-2 nonconference victory over Bartlett at the Soldotna Sports Center.
The Stars had been competitive in a loss to Chugiak Friday night, and SoHi coach Pat Nolden said the strong showing against the Anchorage schools was good for his team's confidence. Anchorage high schools usually have the finest hockey teams in the state.
"It was real nice to see the kids really compete with the Anchorage schools," said Nolden, whose team also owns a win over Anchorage's East High. "It was fun to see. It showed them that when they really work hard and play as a team, there's not too many teams that can run away from them.
"They can play with most anybody."
The Golden Bears carried a 1-0 lead into the second period, but the Stars took care of that lead in a hurry. Dan Jensen potted a goal 1:26 into the period on assists by John Gleason and Eric Newby, then Derek Martin gave Soldotna the lead for good when he found the back of the net with help from Scott Laurion and Billy Smith.
The score remained 2-1 in the third period until 32 seconds remained, when Mike McIntosh found the back of an empty net.
"Mike McIntosh played an outstanding game Saturday night," Nolden said of his senior defenseman. "Saturday night all the kids played hard, but Mike McIntosh logged a lot of minutes and did an outstanding job.
"Scott Laurion and John Gleason also did a great job on defense."
Bartlett scored a goal with 11 seconds left to account for the final score.
The Stars will be in action Thursday, Friday and Saturday in crucial North Star Conference games. Soldotna plays Wasilla Thursday, Colony Friday and Palmer Saturday.
STARS 3, GOLDEN BEARS 2
Bartlett 1 0 1 -- 2
Soldotna 0 2 1 -- 3
First period -- 1. Bartlett, Stattner (Howard, Rafter), 5:00. Penalties -- Bartlett 2 for 4:00; Soldotna 3 for 6:00.
Second period -- 2. Soldotna, Jensen (Gleason, E. Newby), 1:26; 3. Soldotna, Martin (Laurion, Smith), 2:05. Penalties -- Bartlett 1 for 2:00; Soldotna 0.
Third period -- 4. Soldotna, McIntosh (unassisted), 14:28; 5. Bartlett, Kennedy (Froehle, Howard), 14:49. Penalties -- Bartlett 3 for 22:00; Soldotna 2 for 4:00.
Shots on goal -- Bartlett 10-9-5--24; Soldotna 11-18-8--37.
Goalies -- Bartlett, Hillard (37 shots, 34 saves), Soldotna, Gleason (14 shots, 13 saves), Bishop (15 shots, 14 saves).
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