After just one game, the Nikiski hockey team has equaled its win total from last season.
The Bulldogs defeated Kenny Lake 5-2 on Friday at the Kenai Multipurpose Facility in their season opener and opening game in the Greatland Conference. Last season, Nikiski's only victory came against Kenai Central's junior varsity.
"It means a lot, especially with the size of our squad," Nikiski coach Irv Smith said. "We've only got nine skaters and one goalie."
Kenny Lake grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first period before the Bulldogs came back to score five unanswered goals. In the second period, Zack Alkire scored on an assist from Matt Thompson, Thompson scored on an assist from Jordan Harrison and Sean Jones scored unassisted. In the third period, Matt O'Brien had an unassisted tally and Matt Hanley scored on assists from Thompson and Jennifer Nickles.
Tyler Bethune had 18 saves for Nikiski, and the Bulldogs put 36 shots on goal. Harrison and O'Brien played the entire game on defense, except when they sat out due to penalties.
"Toward the end of the season last year, they started working together," Smith said of his team. "They brought it all together last night. You could tell by how many shots we had on goal."
Nikiski will face Kenai's junior varsity on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Kenai Multipurpose Facility.
Kenai Central varsity tops Kenny Lake
The Kenai Central varsity notched a 9-0 victory over Kenny Lake on Saturday at the Kenai Multipurpose Facility. The Kardinals are now 2-0 overall.
In the first period, Ty Anderson scored on assists from Dylan Hendricks and Kalee Alsworth, Zack Sonnichsen scored unassisted and Cameron Borchgrevink scored on assists from Holly Perkins and Reed Ehrhardt.
In the second period, Dom Eubank scored unassisted, Trevor Schaffner scored on assists from Sonnichsen and Steve Horne, Henrik Janefeldt scored unassisted, Sonnichsen scored on an assist from Bobby Myles and Janefeldt scored on an assist from Schaffner. In the third period, Ryan Fusaro scored on an assist from Morgan Cunningham.
Matt Barrett had three saves in the first period for Kenai, while Alex Koch had one save in the second period and two saves in the third period.
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