The Soldotna hockey team started off the North Star Conference Tournament Thursday with a 9-1 victory over Skyview at the Palmer Ice Rink.
The loss ends Skyview's season. Soldotna moves on to face Kenai Central, which had a bye Thursday, at 5 p.m. today in a semifinal. The winner of the game earns a berth to state.
The Stars had an 8-1 lead after two periods, so coach Aaron Swanson was able to rest some of his players for today's game.
"Our young guys got to play quite a bit," Swanson said. "I'm happy we got the opportunity to play everybody quite a bit."
Brian Herring and Clayton Glick each had two goals for the Stars, while Matt Vasilie had a goal and five assists. Others netting goals for the Stars were Kevin Laurion, Willie Boyles, Jake Bishop and Anton Olson. Sam Evanoff and Laurion added two assists for Soldotna, while Erik Shapley and Brennan Best also had assists.
Paddy Iverson scored unassisted for the Panthers.
Kyle Kay had 21 saves for the Stars, while Kyle Kirby turned away 36 shots for the Panthers.
The Stars have yet to defeat the Kardinals this year.
"We're real excited for the game," Swanson said. "We're really looking forward to the opportunity to try and play our best, and see if we can't make something happen."
In Thursday's other game, Colony defeated Palmer 13-2 to move into a semifinal matchup with Wasilla at 7:15 p.m.
STARS 9, PANTHERS 1
Skyview 0 1 0 1
Soldotna 3 5 1 9
First period 1. Soldotna, Herring (Vasilie), 5:04; 2. Soldotna, Vasilie (Evanoff), 7:20; 3. Soldotna, Glick (Vasilie), 14:16. Penalties Skyview 3 for 6:00; Soldotna 3 for 6:00.
Second period 4. Soldotna, Herring (Vasilie), 2:33; 5. Soldotna, Laurion (Vasilie, Evanoff), 8:18; 6. Soldotna, Boyles (Laurion), 9:47; 7. Soldotna, Glick (Vasilie), 10:08; 8. Skyview, Iverson (un.), 10:48; 9. Soldotna, Bishop (Shapley), 14:57. Penalties Skyview 1 for 2:00; Soldotna 4 for 8:00.
Third period 10. Soldotna, Olson (Best, Laurion), 2:20. Penalties Skyview 2 for 4:00; Soldotna 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal Skyview 7-8-722; Soldotna 14-22-945.
Goalies Skyview, Kirby (45 shots, 36 saves); Soldotna, Kay (22 shots, 21 saves).
Homer tops Glennallen
The Homer hockey team defeated Glennallen 9-1 Thursday in the opening round of the Greatland Conference Hockey Tournament at the Wasilla Sports Center.
Homer moves into a semifinal matchup with Delta at 4:30 p.m. today. Delta, which split with Homer this season, defeated Kenny Lake 7-1 Thursday.
Homer coach John Butcher said his team should be well-rested for the game.
Scott Owen paced Homer with three goals, while Justin Adams and Travis Brown each had two goals. Also scoring for Homer were Eric Rasmussen and Tabor Webb.
Ben Miller had 21 saves for the Mariners.
In other tournament action, Tri Valley defeated Monroe 4-3. Tri Valley will play Houston in the other semifinal at 7:30 p.m.
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