Soldotna goalie Micah Perletti makes a save in front of Houston's Henry Orth in the second period Saturday at the Soldotna Sports Center.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
The Soldotna High School hockey team dropped the puck on the new season Saturday in winning fashion, defeating Houston 3-2 in a nonconference game at the Soldotna Sports Center.
"It was a very fun start. The team played great today, our first game of year, to get the kinks out," said Soldotna's Brian Herring.
Herring didn't seem to have too many kinks to work out, notching a hat trick for the Stars.
Herring said he felt comfortable playing with linemates Ben Christianson and Kevin Garske.
"It definitely takes time to develop chemistry. All in all, with only two weeks skating together, we did pretty good," Herring said.
The Stars put the first goal of the game on the board 6:06 into the game when Herring snared a Houston clearing pass just outside the Hawks zone. Herring squirted between the Houston defenders and tucked the puck past Hawks goaltender Paul Sutton-Jones.
At the other end of the ice, Soldotna goalkeeper Micah Perletti made several solid stops to make the Soldotna lead stand up.
"Micah played real well. We're counting on him to carry the load for us. He got us off to a good start," said Soldotna coach Aaron Swanson.
Soldotna's Brian Herring, left, and Houston's Larry Kincaid, right, fly following a collision as Soldotna's Kevin Laurion breaks away with the puck in the third period Saturday.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
Houston was able to take advantage of an odd-man rush late in the period, though, and Dillon Styers flipped shot just over Perletti's shoulder and just under the crossbar 27 seconds before the first intermission.
The game got a little chippy to start the second period, culminating with Houston's Jeremy Morlock being sent off with a game disqualification and a 5-minute major penalty for spearing.
The Stars took advantage right away. With a player in each penalty box and the teams playing with four skaters each, the Stars were able to dig a puck out along the sideboards in the Hawks zone. Herring collected the puck high in the slot and flung his shot on goal as he was falling down, beating Sutton-Jones over the goalie's right shoulder. Ben Christianson earned the assist on the play.
Houston tied the game with a power-play goal from Styers with 55 seconds left in the period, but Herring notched a hat trick to end the frame, swooping into the Hawks zone and slipping the puck home.
Houston coach Jamie Smith said he liked starting the season against 4A schools because it forces his players to pick up the pace of the game. The Class 3A school went 10-2 in games against 4A competition last season.
"It's good for us to do that and get the kinks out," Smith said.
Swanson said he was pleased with the team's start.
"You never really know what to expect. You expect it to be a little sloppy at times, and it was," Swanson said.
Swanson said his squad did a good job of adapting to the systems Houston was running, limiting the Hawks attacks through the second and third period.
Houston did have several strong scoring chances late in the third period, but Perletti made three saves during a Hawks two-man advantage midway through the period, and came up with a glove save on a low, hard shot with just over a minute to play to preserve Soldotna's lead.
The Stars then fended off Houston's final flurry as the Hawks pulled their goalkeeper for an extra skater.
"I'm really happy with the whole team. Overall, the effort was there from start to finish," Swanson said.
The Stars will return to action Thursday in the Peninsula Ice Challenge.
Stars 3, Hawks 2
Houston 1 1 0 2
Soldotna 1 2 0 3
First period 1. Soldotna, Herring (unassisted), 6:06; 2. Houston, Styers (unassisted), 14:33. Penalties Houston 4 for 8:00, Soldotna 3 for 6:00.
Second period 3. Soldotna, Herring (Christianson), 5:11; 4. Houston, Styers (Kincaid), 14:05 (pp); 5. Soldotna, Herring (unassisted), 14:51 (pp). Penalties Houston 3 for 9:00, Soldotna 5 for 10:00.
Third period none. Penalties Houston 1 for 2:00, Soldotna 4 for 8:00.
Shots Houston 9-8-1027, Soldotna 7-4-112.
Goalies Houston, Sutton-Jones (12 shots, 9 saves); Soldotna, Perletti (27 shots, 25 saves).
Wasilla 4, Homer 2
Wasilla scored a pair of goals late in the third period to spoil Homer's inaugural game in its new ice rink in a North Star Conference game Friday.
Homer's Alex Trieweiler tied the game at two with his second goal 2:19 in the final period. Josh Pitts and Justin Adams assisted on the power-play tally.
The Warriors regained the lead midway through the period on an unassisted power-play goal by Jeremiah Dargis. Wasilla added an insurance goal with 2:36 left in the game. Tanner Archer scored on the play, assisted by Track Palin and Dargis.
Trieweiler's first-period goal tied the score at one. Trieweiler was assisted by Dillon Cooper and Adams.
Wasilla outshot the Mariners 43-20. Ben Miller made 39 saves for Homer.
Warriors 4, Mariners 2
Wasilla 1 1 2 4
Homer 1 0 1 2
First period 1. Wasilla, Ingalls (Kenworth), 1:39; 2. Homer, Trieweiler (Cooper, Adams), 11:21. Penalties Wasilla 1 for 2:00, Homer 1 for 2:00.
Second period 3. Wasilla, Palin (Gittlein), 5:52. Penalties Wasilla 6 for 12:00, Homer 4 for 8:00.
Third period 4. Homer, Trieweiler (Pitts, Adams), 2:19 (pp); 5. Wasilla, Je. Dargis (unassisted), 7:52 (pp); 6. Wasilla, Archer (Palin, Je. Dargis), 12:24. Penalties Wasilla 5 for 10:00, Homer 3 for 14:00.
Shots Wasilla 22-11-1043, Homer 7-6-720.
Goalies Wasilla, Walker (20 shots, 18 saves); Homer, Miller (43 shots, 39 saves).
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