The Soldotna hockey program got a chance to show off its depth Tuesday night at the Jason Peterson Memorial Ice Rink in Nikiski.
The Stars skated their junior varsity squad, plus six varsity skaters, against Nikiski's varsity and notched a 10-0 nonconference victory.
Soldotna now has a record of 15-4-1, while Nikiski dropped to 4-16-1.
"They definitely have a talented program," Nikiski coach Irv Smith said. "They've got a lot of talented kids to choose from."
One area where Soldotna showed it will be exceptionally strong for a long time is goalie.
The Stars have three goalies on varsity -- senior Kelly Gee, junior Kenny Bishop and sophomore Egan Gleason. Tuesday, freshman Jon Verhelst proved he also can man the pipes just fine by stopping 29 shots for a shutout.
Soldotna coach Pat Nolden, whose team had 40 shots on goal, said Verhelst's play was the biggest reason the Stars rolled to such a lopsided victory.
"When you look at the final score, it looks lopsided," Nolden said. "The thing is, the game didn't go that way.
"We had some great goaltending. They easily could have gotten four or five goals."
Of course, with 10 goals on the board, the Stars were showing talent in a lot of other areas as well. Of the 13 nongoalies on the score sheet, 12 Stars collected points in the game.
Jeff Winters had four points to lead Soldotna, getting a goal and three assists. Chris Houglum and Andy Silver had a goal and two assists for three-point nights, while Nels Hanson also collected three points with two goals and an assist.
"We've got a great group of kids," Nolden said. "They all come to practice every day and work hard."
Nikiski will face off at 7 p.m. against Homer Friday night at Jason Peterson in senior night, while Soldotna has North Star Conference games against Kenai Friday at 7:45 p.m. and against Skyview Saturday at 7:45 p.m. Both games are at the Soldotna Sports Center.
STARS 10, BULLDOGS 0
Soldotna 3 2 5 -- 10
Nikiski 0 0 0 -- 0
First period -- 1. Soldotna, Andy Silver (Ryan Moen), 4:22; 2. Soldotna, Keith Herring (JJ Sullivan, Andy Silver), 4:59; 3. Soldotna, Dustin Sena (Daniel Potton, Jeff Winters), 10:16. Penalties -- Soldotna 1 for 2:00; Nikiski 2 for 4:00.
Second period -- 4. Soldotna, Nels Hanson (Micah Reynolds), 6:43; 5. Soldotna, Chris Houglum (Blane Johnson), 10:51. Penalties -- Soldotna 4 for 18:00; Nikiski 3 for 6:00.
Third period -- 6. Soldotna, Jeff Winters (Nels Hanson), 5:31; 7. Soldotna, Nels Hanson (Chris Houglum, Jeff Winters), 8:09; 8. Soldotna, John Mills (Andy Silver), 10:43; 9. Soldotna, Micah Reynolds (unassisted), 11:36; 10. Soldotna, JJ Sullivan (Chris Houglum, Jeff Winters), 12:45. Penalties -- Soldotna 1 for 2:00; Nikiski 2 for 7:00.
Shots on goal -- Soldotna 16-10-14--40; Nikiski 29.
Goalies -- Soldotna, Jon Verhelst (29 shots, 29 saves); Nikiski, Nigel Penhale (40 shots, 30 saves).
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