Soldotna's hockey team needed an additional three minutes to defeat the visiting Colony Knights 3-2 Friday in North Star Conference action at the Soldotna Sports Center. The Stars lost 2-1 to Palmer at the Sports Center on Saturday.
After 45 minutes of play, SoHi and Colony were deadlocked at 2-all. The Stars owned much of the overtime period, preventing the Knights from recording a shot. In the first minute, Zach Waters had two good scoring changes, but Colony goaltender Forrest Savel bested him both times.
Just 2:39 into the eight-minute overtime, SoHi ended the game. Waters put a shot toward the net but it hit traffic in front. The puck bounced to the right of the cage. Matt Fellman got to the loose puck and put it over the diving Colony net minder for the game winner.
During the intermission between the end of regulation and overtime, Stars head coach Aaron Swanson told his team to play smart.
"I was telling the kids to stay calm and relaxed," he said.
"The fans definitely got their money's worth," said Colony head coach Fred McKenney.
His squad also went to extra time Thursday, defeating Kenai 7-6.
"It's a shame somebody had to lose both games," McKenney said. "My hat's off to SoHi and Kenai."
SoHi broke a 1-1 tie in the third period on Waters' second goal of the night. With Braden Carter in the box for interference, Soldotna was on the power play.
Waters, who was playing the point, put an on-ice wrist shot on goal. It made it in between the maze of sticks and skates and through Savel's five-hole for the goal. The Stars netted the goal just 17 seconds after Carter went to the sin bin.
But the Knights answered Waters' power-play goal with one of their own. Just eight seconds after Jonas Perletti was called for interference, Kevin Boyer evened the scored at 2-2.
Off of the faceoff in the Stars' end, Boyer threw the puck to the net. It hit Soldotna defenseman Kevin Stone's skate and ricocheted into the back of the net. Stone was later called for head contact but his penalty killers prevented the Knights from taking the lead.
"Our special teams looked better tonight," Swanson said. The penalty killing, in particular, improved from Thursday against Wasilla, he said. The Warriors scored two third-period, power-play goals to beat the Stars 3-1.
With 12 seconds remaining in regulation, SoHi had a chance to prevent overtime. Waters and Dalton Pearson rushed into Colony's zone two-on-one. Waters let a midrange slap shot go and caught Savel in the helmet. Time expired, forcing the additional period.
Down 1-0, the Stars evened the score on a goal by Waters with just under six minutes to play in the second period. He received a pass between the defensemen just outside of the Knights' zone. Waters came into the zone to his left and ripped a shot high-glove past Colony's goaltender.
Waters factored in on all three SoHi goals, scoring two and adding the helper on Fellman's game winner.
SoHi played the final five minutes of the second period on the power play, including a two-minute, five-on-three advantage, but couldn't convert.
Colony's Trey Garrod was given two, separate penalties for upending Josh Kerkvliet behind the Knights goal. Garrod went to the box for four minutes, two for elbowing and two for boarding. Kerkvliet was injured on the play but rose fast and returned to the bench.
With a lot of traffic in front of the net and a couple of blocks by Colony penalty killers, few pucks made it through to the Knights net minder on the five-on-three power play. Though they killed off the prime scoring chance for SoHi, Colony's Lance Nezaticky was called for tripping with seven seconds remaining on Garrod's four-minute, double-minor penalty.
The second period ended with 46 seconds remaining on a Stars power play.
Soldotna more than quadrupled Colony's second-period shot total, putting 18 on net to the Knights four.
Nezaticky started the scoring nine minutes into period one. He danced around the defense but put his shot over the goal. But the puck found its way back to the front of the cage and Nezaticky was waiting. As Stars goalie William Granger slid to his left, the puck came to the right of the goal. Nezaticky was there to bury it in the open net.
The Knights nearly took a quick lead about 20 seconds into the contest. The puck was thrown toward the net and slipped through Granger's legs. But SoHi's Jenna Redford saved the goal and cleared the puck away from the goal.
In the first, Colony had two power-play opportunities and the Stars had one, but neither team could capitalize on the man advantage.
The Knights snapped off 12 first-period shots to the Stars seven.
"We played with a lot of heart," McKenney said. "We played hard. It was good, tough hockey."
"We're happy to get a couple of points tonight from the win," Swanson said.
Mike Nesper can be reached at email@example.com.
Stars 3, Knights 2, OT
Colony 1 0 1 0 -- 2
Soldotna 0 1 1 1 -- 3
First period -- 1. Colony, Nezaticky (Moma, Nickerson), 9:02. Penalties -- Colony, 1 for 2:00; Soldotna, 2 for 4:00.
Second period -- 2. Soldotna, Waters (Stone), 9:17. Penalties -- Colony, 5 for 10:00; Soldotna, 1 for 2:00.
Third period -- 3. Soldotna, Waters (Pearson, Endsley), pp, 4:30; 4. Colony, Boyer (Tobin), pp, 8:35. Penalties -- Colony, 1 for 2:00; Soldotna, 3 for 6:00.
Shots on goal -- Colony, 12-4-8-0 -- 24; Soldotna, 7-18-9-3 -- 37.
Goalies -- Colony, Savel (37 shots, 34 saves); Soldotna, Granger (24 shots, 22 saves).
Moose 2, Stars 1
Palmer 0 0 2 -- 2
Soldotna 0 1 0 -- 1
First period -- No scoring. Penalties -- Palmer, 3 for 6:00; Soldotna, 1 for 2:00.
Second period -- 1. Soldotna, Anderson (Waters, Endsley), 10:27. Penalties -- Palmer, 2 for 4:00; Soldotna, 1 for 2:00.
Third period -- 2. Palmer, Acher (un), 0:35; 3. Palmer, LaFrance (Acher, Good), n/a. Penalties -- Soldotna, 2 for 4:00.
Shots on goal -- Palmer, 4-0-6 -- 10; Soldotna, 10-12-4 -- 26.
Goalies -- Palmer, Naegele (26 shots, 25 saves); Soldotna, Pearson (10 shots, 8 saves).
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