Ian Tracy, a 1995 graduate of Soldotna High School, remembers well his days as a child watching the Peninsula Micmacs in action at what was then the Central Peninsula Sports Center.
"Back in the late '80s, it was really big," Tracy said. "It was the hot ticket. This year, we're trying to start bringing that back."
Tracy did his part Friday night as he recorded a hat trick in the Micmacs' 9-4 victory over the Mat-Su Thunder at the Soldotna Sports Center.
The Micmacs are a collection of area talent that is over the age of 18 and done with junior hockey, college hockey or professional hockey.
In the past five or 10 years, the only outlet available for such talent has been Rusty Blades hockey.
But Micmacs player Indy Walton said playing Rusty Blades is not as fun as Micmacs. The Micmacs play more competitive teams from Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna valleys.
Plus, contact is allowed, meaning players must move the puck or be forced off of it.
Micmacs coach Rick Richardson still has programs from the heyday of the Micmacs. He threw together this year's team in a week and a half, and is still trying to fill up the squad's schedule.
In addition to offering area hockey players a more competitive arena to showcase their talents, Richardson also thinks the Micmacs will be a valuable tool for promoting hockey in the area.
"I've already had three or four kids who've never played hockey before come up and tell me that they came to our game and now they want to play (Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association)," Richardson said.
The Micmacs fell behind 4-3 early in the second period when the Thunder scored a pair of goals just 21 seconds apart.
At that point, Nick Wirz came on to replace Kenny Bishop in goal for the Micmacs. Wirz stopped all 16 shots he faced to dampen the Thunder for the rest of the evening.
"Kenny's been working a lot and he hasn't seen as much rubber as we would have liked," Richardson said. "I'm going to start him again (Saturday night)."
While Wirz shut down the Thunder's offense, Tracy provided the offensive burst that put Mat-Su away.
After Anthony Zurfluh tied the game at 4 with just under 10 minutes to play in the second period, Tracy reeled off three consecutive goals to give the Micmacs a 7-4 lead with 16:47 to play in the game.
"It was all an aberration out there," Tracy said. "I had no idea how well I'd play. I haven't really played competitively in two years."
In addition to Tracy, six other Micmacs had multipoint performances.
Jake Gotfety had two goals and two assists, Zurfluh had two goals and an assist, Walton had three assists, Brett Hass and Jess Richardson each had a goal and an assist and Branden Carlson added a pair of assists.
Results from Saturday's game were unavailable.
Second period 5. Peninsula, Gotfety (Walton, Downs), 2:33; 6. Mat-Su, Embley (un.), 2:43; 7. Mat-Su, Stackel (un.), 3:04; 8. Peninsula, Zurfluh (Bee), 10:14; 9. Peninsula, Tracy (Zurfluh, Walton), 11:30. Penalties Mat-Su 1 for 2:00; Peninsula 2 for 4:00.
Third period 10. Peninsula, Tracy (Fortney, Gotfety), 3:13; 11. Peninsula, Tracy (Walton, Gotfety), 8:38; 12. Peninsula, Richardson (Shelden), 16:40; 13. Gotfety (Carlson, Hass), 18:00. Penalties Mat-Su 2 for 4:00; Peninsula 4 for 11:00.
Shots on goal Mat-Su 9-11-727; Peninsula 7-21-2452.
Goalies Mat-Su, Faeo (52 shots, 43 saves); Peninsula, Bishop (11 shots, 7 saves); Wirz (16 shots, 16 saves).
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