Soldotna's Ben Christianson beats Kenai's Owen Dukowitz to the puck in the third period Friday at the Soldotna Sports Center.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
The Kenai Central High School hockey team squared off with Soldotna for the third time this season this one a North Star Conference affair and the Kardinals kept their record clean against the Stars, skating to an 8-0 win Friday at the Soldotna Sports Center.
"We played a pretty good first period. All the penalties just killed us," said Soldotna coach Aaron Swanson. "We've got a small number of kids to begin with. When they're all sitting in the penalty box it's tough to find kids to put on the ice. You can't get any flow."
Indeed, the Stars and the Kardinals skated to a scoreless draw through the first period with Soldotna goaltender Kyle Kay making several big stops, particularly with his team on the penalty kill.
Kenai was to get rolling with a power-play goal to start the second period, though, when Travis Temple beat Kay on a slapper from the left circle to capitalize on a two-man advantage for the Kardinals. Cody Carver assisted on the play.
"We just started playing good at the end of the first period. After that, we played better," said Kenai's C.J. Henley.
"The passing opened up for us. Pass, shoot, score," said teammate John McGlasson.
Temple and Henley set up McGlasson for Kenai's next goal as McGlasson pounced on a rebound and tucked it home at 4:53 of the period.
McGlasson set up Henley for a short-handed goal less than a minute later, carrying the puck behind the Soldotna net before sending it back toward the point, where Henley was winding up for a shot.
Kenai made it a 4-0 game with 2:45 left in the period with both teams skating a player short. Kay got most of a hard shot by Carver, but the puck had enough on it to still trickle past the Soldotna goalie. Henley was credited with the assist.
"Passing around and making them skate more than us we have a bigger bench, so that helps," Henley said.
Kenai added two more power-play goals to start the third period. Henley tallied on a two-man Kenai advantage, assisted by Carver 4:11 into the frame, and Owen Dukowitz banked a shot off the post and in, assisted by Trevor Baldwin, 1:05 later.
Kenai's Kyle Coleman checks Soldotna's Matt Vasile above the puck in the third period Friday.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
Temple netted his second of the night with 2:48 left in the game, capping a nice passing play with McGlasson and Carver, and Michael Drobnick finished off the scoring, assisted by Dukowitz and Jed McGlasson, with 2:11 left in the game.
Kenai goalie Ben Boycott turned aside all 12 shots he faced for the shutout while Kay stopped 33 shots for the Stars.
Kenai coach Nate Kiel said he was pleased with the performance after his squad juggled some lines over the past week.
"We switched up some line combinations. I thought that paid off, and we were successful on special teams we've worked on that," Kiel said.
Henley said the key for the Kardinals is to come out stronger in the first period.
"We're coming along. We've been working on a lot of small things. The main thing we need to do is come out hard in the first period. If we can do that, we'll have a solid game," Henley said.
Kardinals 8, Stars 0
Kenai 0 4 4 8
Soldotna 0 0 0 0
First period none. Penalties Kenai 2 for 6:00, Soldotna 4 for 16:00.
Second period 1. Kenai, Temple (Carver), 1:13 pp; 2. Kenai, Jo. McGlasson (Temple, Henley), 4:53; 3. Kenai, Henley (Jo. McGlasson), 5:46 sh; 4. Kenai, Carver (Henley), 12:15. Penalties Kenai 4 for 8:00, Soldotna 5 for 18:00.
Third period 5. Kenai, Henley (Carver), 4:11 pp; 6. Kenai, Dukowitz (Baldwin), 5:16 pp; 7. Kenai, Temple (Jo. McGlasson, Carver), 12:12; 8. Kenai, Drobnick (Dukowitz, Je. McGlasson), 12:49. Penalties Kenai 3 for 6:00, Soldotna 5 for 10:00.
Shots Kenai 10-15-1641, Soldotna 5-6-112.
Goalies Kenai, Boycott (12 shots, 12 saves); Soldotna, Kay (41 shots, 33 saves).
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