Kenai Central skaters come up short in opening round of Challenge

Soldotna ices North Pole in OT

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2002

Soldotna's Peter Kim put the Stars on the scoreboard 27 seconds into the opening game of the Peninsula Ice Challenge hockey tournament Thursday at the Soldotna Sports Center, and ended the game against the North Pole Patriots with a power-play goal 3:23 into overtime.

But in the 47 minutes, 56 seconds, in between Kim's tallies, the Stars dominated play -- and came away with a whole bunch of nothing.

In Thursday's late game, the Kenai Kardinals surrendered four power-play goals in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Bartlett Golden Bears.

Round-robin tournament play continues today at the Sports Center with the Kardinals playing North Pole at 6 p.m. and the Stars facing Bartlett at 8 p.m. The tournament concludes Saturday with Bartlett playing North Pole at 6 p.m. and Kenai taking on Soldotna at 8 p.m.

"We score in the first 30, then it looks like we aren't going to score another goal for the rest of our lives," said Soldotna coach Pat Nolden after the Stars' 2-1 victory. "We must've had 20 Grade A (scoring chances) and we couldn't convert."

Indeed, Soldotna outshot North Pole 41-11 through three periods plus 3:23 of overtime, but Patriots goaltender Matt Duval was able to turn aside nearly all of the rubber thrown his way.

With Duval keeping the Patriots in the game, North Pole was able to equalize 9:17 into the third period with a goal from Johnny Richart, assisted by Scott Sikorski and Matt Patty.

"In the locker room, we were all having a good time, but after they got their goal -- we had our chances, we just needed to score," Kim said of the Stars' attitude between goals.

Kim's overtime goal gave the Stars the win on the scoreboard as well as in the stat book. Kim found himself just inside the blue line with the puck on his stick, and fired his shot low and just inside Duval's left post.

"I was going to pass, but there were two guys up top," Kim said. "I had a screen, so I just took the shot."

Derek Martin and Daniel Potton assisted on the play.

Martin also set up Kim's first goal, feeding him 27 seconds into the game. Ben Tikka earned the other assist on the play.

Nolden said a little adversity should build some character for the Stars.

"When they got that goal in the third period, that was a good gut check," Nolden said. "(Winning) was a relief.

"That's a good feeling to finally get it done and have a positive outcome."

STARS 2, PATRIOTS 1, OT

North Pole 0 0 1 0 -- 1

Soldotna 1 0 0 1 -- 2

First period -- 1. Soldotna, Kim (Martin, Tikka), 0:27. Penalties -- North Pole 1 for 2:00, Soldotna 1 for 2:00.

Second period -- none. Penalties -- Soldotna 1 for 2:00.

Third period -- 2. North Pole, J. Richart (Sikorski, Patty), 9:17. Penalties -- Soldotna 2 for 12:00.

Overtime -- 3. Soldotna, Kim (Martin, Potton), 3:23 (pp). Penalties -- North Pole 1 for 2:00.

Shots -- North Pole 2-2-5-2--7, Soldotna 11-13-11-6--41.

Goalies -- North Pole, Duval (41 shots, 39 saves); Soldotna, Verhelst (11 shots, 10 saves).

BARTLETT 5, KENAI 4 OT

Bartlett countered Kenai's early lead with four power-play goals, and Steve Slattery scored 39 seconds into overtime to secure a Golden Bears win.

Bartlett trailed by a goal, 4-3, heading into the final period, but the Bears were able to take advantage of a five-minute major penalty issued to Kenai's Zack Hicks with 4:54 left in the game, giving Bartlett a man-advantage for the rest of the game.

Sean Kelly skated through the Kenai defense to pot the equalizer with 1:32 left in the game, and Slattery kept that momentum going with his overtime tally.

"Hopefully, we can look at it as a learning experience," Kenai coach Brian Gabriel Sr. said. "We'll see what happens (today). Hopefully, these guys can come out and play the way they're capable of playing.

"It's disheartening, the way we gave it up, standing around defensively and watching guys skate."

The Golden Bears scored the first goal of the game, but the Kardinals were quick to answer -- three times.

Bartlett converted a power-play opportunity 2:57 into the game, but the Kardinals responded with two goals in the next 1:14.

The Kardinals won the faceoff immediately following Bartlett's goal and went straight for goal. Phillip Ischi finished the play with a nifty flip past Bartlett goaltender Matt Skingel just 13 seconds after the Bears' tally. Adrian Borchgrevink and Owen Brewer assisted on the play.

Brewer put the Kardinals in the lead at 4:11 of the first period, pouncing on his own rebound in the Bartlett crease.

The Kardinals went into the locker room for the first intermission with a 3-1 lead thanks to a power-play goal from Garrett Bossert with 2:49 left in the period, getting just enough of his stick on a shot from the point by Cory Janson to redirect it past Skingel.

Kelly notched his second power-play goal of the game 11:05 into the second period, but the Kardinals again answered in a matter of seconds.

Borchgrevink dug the puck out of the corner and centered to Brewer in the slot. Brewer nudged the puck over to Ischi, who was able tuck it home.

The Bears cut Kenai's lead to one goal before the second intermission with a power-play goal from Wichorek 10 seconds before the horn, and the Kardinals were out of answers.

"It's a big learning experience," said Kenai goaltender Daniel Silver. "Next time, we have to try harder."

GOLDEN BEARS 5, KARDINALS 4

Bartlett 1 2 1 1 -- 5

Kenai 3 1 0 0 -- 4

First period -- 1. Bartlett, Kelly (Moran, Wichorek), 2:57 (pp); 2. Kenai, Ischi (Brewer, Borchgrevink), 3:10; 3. Kenai, Brewer (unassisted), 4:11; 4. Kenai, Bossert (Janson, Henson), 12:11 (pp). Penalties -- Kenai 2 for 4:00, Bartlett 1 for 2:00.

Second period -- 5. Bartlett, Kelly (Warner), 11:05 (pp); 6. Kenai, Ischi (Borchgrevink, Brewer), 11:24; 7. Bartlett, Wichorek (unassisted), 14:50 (pp). Penalties -- Bartlett 1 for 2:00, Kenai 3 for 6:00.

Third period -- 8. Bartlett, Kelly (Wichorek), 13:28 (pp). Penalties -- Bartlett 2 for 4:00, Kenai 2 for 7:00.

Overtime -- 9. Bartlett, Slattery (Kelly), 0:39. Penalties -- none.

Shots -- Bartlett 11-9-4-1--25, Kenai 17-6-4-0--27.

Goalies -- Bartlett, Skingel (27 shots, 23 saves); Kenai, Silver (25 shots, 20 saves).



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