WASILLA -- Friday night, Wasilla head coach Bill Sturdevant watched as Soldotna freshman Max Hegge stunned the Warriors with the game-winning goal of a 2-1 overtime win over Wasilla. But on Saturday, Sturdevant had the chance to see his Warriors celebrate an overtime win.
Junior Chancie Hanson scored three minutes into the extra period to give Wasilla a 4-3 overtime victory over the Kenai Central Kardinals at the Curtis C. Menard II Memorial Ice Arena.
"It definitely redeemed us, at least in our minds, after last night's game," Sturdevant said.
Hanson used a blast from the point to give the Warriors the game-winner. Senior Mike Edwards won the draw and sent it back to Hanson. With traffic in front of net, Hanson was able to send a shot by Kenai goalie Keegan Remsen.
Wasilla, which finished the weekend 2-1-0 against three Kenai Peninsula foes, outshot each opponent terribly during the stretch. But despite controlling much of the play, the Warriors could only managed a single goal on 40 shots against Soldotna on Friday. It was much of the same on Saturday. Through the first two periods, the Warriors could sneak only one puck by Remsen.
"We're starting to feel like we are snakebit. We're doing everything right. We're sticking to the game plan. We just can't put anything into the net," Sturdevant said. "Some of the kids are feeling like there's a force field behind those goalies. Pucks are just not going in for us."
Kenai took the 2-0 lead with a pair of first-period goals. Morgan Cunningham, who scored twice in the game, recorded an unassisted tally to put the Kards on the scoreboard. Jake Iverson added a power-play goal late in the period.
Edwards was finally able to put the Warriors on the scoreboard late in the first and Dylan McRee tied the game at 2 with a goal in the third period.
Later in the third, defenseman Michael Johnston skated end-to-end up the left wing boards and placed a shot perfectly into the far end of the net to give the Warriors the 3-2 advantage, their first lead of the game.
"It was a beautiful goal," Sturdevant said.
Cunningham scored his second goal of the game in the third period to force overtime.
Sophomore Zach Eastham stopped 26 shots to earn the win in the Warrior net. Sturdevant said the overtime victory was big, in terms of boosting not only the confidence of the team, but Eastham in particular.
"He's been coming up big for us," Sturdevant said.
Palmer 4, Soldotna 2
PALMER -- Sometimes an explanation for success is fairly simple.
"Today, we came out and played as a team," Palmer junior Ivan Good said after his team's win over the Soldotna Stars at the MTA Palmer Ice Arena on Saturday. "We just skated as a team."
The Moose scored three times in the second period of the win, Palmer's third North Star Conference victory in as many days. Following a scoreless first period, Good, Trey Garrod and Dalton Buness each scored the second-period goals to help the Moose open up the game during the middle frame.
"I thought we had some nice chances in the third, but we were able to convert in the second," Palmer head coach Brad Hanson said. "Gain a little cushion."
Jack Reeves also scored for Palmer.
Garrod, who also helped set up a pair of Palmer goals, gave the Moose a lead with a shot from the point just inside the second period. Midway through the second, Good scored on the power play to give Palmer the two-goal lead. Later in the period, Buness added to that advantage with a short-handed tally.
Buness capped a Palmer odd-man rush by using the back of the blade of his stick to beat Soldotna goalie Dawson Pearson."It was a great goal," Hanson said. "A good finish by Buness."
Stephen Acher created a Palmer 2-on-1 when he picked up a loose puck in transition. With both players skating deep into the Soldotna zone, Acher sent a quick pass to Buness, who buried the puck.
"He made a nice dish," Good said. "Acher's dishing the puck. He's not really scoring right now, but he's doing the things he should."
Soldotna skated into the second intermission scoreless, but was able to get on the scoreboard early in the third. Forward Dalton Pearson won the opening faceoff of the third period and poked the puck into the Palmer zone. Pearson chased down the puck to create a breakaway opportunity, and used a quick shot to score Soldotna's first goal of the game.
Matt Fellman added a late power-play goal for the Stars.
Freshman Ashton Good, who recorded a 16-save shutout during a 2-0 win over the Homer Mariners on Friday, stopped 25 shots in the win. Dawson Pearson recorded 26 saves for Soldotna.
Wasilla 1, Homer 0
Trevor Naylor scored late in the second period to help give the Knights the win over Homer. Naylor, working hard on the forecheck, was able to get a stick on the puck to create himself an opportunity. Naylor cashed in on the chance to give the Knights the lead.
Colony was only able to net one goal, despite outshooting the Mariners 38-18.
Alex Sanarov stood strong in net, stopping 37 shots for Homer.
Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman sports editor Jeremiah Bartz at email@example.com.
Palmer 4, Soldotna 2
Saturday, MTA Palmer Ice Arena
First period --no scoring.
Second period --1. Palmer- Garrod (Staskywicz) 12:01; 2. Palmer- I. Good (Garrod, J. Reeves) pp 7:34; 3. Palmer- Buness (Acher) sh 2:24.
Third period -- 4. Soldotna- Dal. Pearson (unassisted) 14:44; 5. Palmer- J. Reeves (Garrod) PP 4:39; 6. Soldotna- Fellman (Stone, Kerkvliet) pp 0:20.
Shots on goal: Soldotna 6-9-12--27, Palmer 10-8-12--30; Saves: Soldotna- Daw. Pearson 10-5-11--26, Palmer- A. Good 6-9-10--25.
Wasilla 4, Kenai 3 OT
Saturday, Menard Arena
First period -- 1. Kenai- Cunningham (unassisted); 2. Kenai- Iverson (Palchikoff) pp; 3. Wasilla- Edwards (Sturdevant).
Second period -- no scoring.
Third period --4. Wasilla- McRee (Ch. Hanson); 5. Wasilla- Johnston (unassisted) pp; 6. Kenai- Cunninghmam (Hendricks).
Overtime -- 7. Wasilla- Ch. Hanson (Edwards).
Shots: Kenai 29, Wasilla 39; Saves: Kenai- Remsen 26, Wasilla- Eastham 35.
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