Adrian Borchgrevink's third goal of the night pulled the Kenai Central High School hockey team into a 4-4 tie with West Valley Thursday at the Soldotna Sports Center, but the Wolfpack netted the final three goals of the game for a 7-4 victory over the Kardinals.
"We were missing five guys, and that really disjointed all of our lines," said Kenai assistant coach Bob Downs.
Three Kardinals -- Brian Gabriel Jr., Hunter Sirois and Mike Brown -- were sitting out with game suspensions, while Jack Darsey and Luke Haman were sidelined with injuries.
The Kardinals top forward line of Borchgrevink, Owen Brewer and Boone Hall was clicking all night, but the Wolfpack was able to take advantage of some Kenai defensive lapses.
"They just caught us a little flat," Downs said.
Kenai came out firing and was able to hold the puck in the West Valley zone in the opening minutes, but the Wolfpack scored the only goal of the first period with less than a minute until intermission on a shot by Mitch Liebl that skipped past Kenai goalie Steven Campanella.
West Valley extended that lead with two goals in the opening minutes of the second period. Jay Simpson caught the Kenai defense back on its heels off the opening faceoff and tucked his shot past Campanella 14 seconds in, and followed that up 2:36 later by finishing off a feed from behind the Kenai net.
Borchgrevink put the Kardinals on the scoreboard with 3:23 left in the second period, finishing off a rush started by Brewer and Hall with a one-time shot to beat West Valley goalie Logan Wicken.
West Valley's Corey Coxon answered 1:09 later with a hard shot that Campanella deflected. The Kenai goalie was the victim of an unlucky bounce, though, as the deflected puck ricocheted off the post, bounced off Campanella's pad and across the goal line.
Borchgrevink cut West Valley's lead to two before the intermission, though, cutting in front of the Wolfpack net off a feed from Brewer and stuffing the shot home for his second goal of the night.
"At the beginning of the season, I just wasn't scoring," Borchgrevink said. "I played in a Thanksgiving tournament with my Midget team, and I started scoring there. It's carried over to the high school season."
Borchgrevink was quick to credit his linemates, adding that Brewer has assisted on each of his five goals this season.
The pair switched roles to open the third period as Borchgrevink backchecked deep into his own zone, collected the puck behind the Kenai net and then sprung Brewer for a break-away with a beautiful pass through center ice. Brewer tucked the puck home with a backhand 36 seconds into the period.
Borchgrevink collected his hat trick 57 seconds later, assisted by Brewer and Hall, to knot the game.
West Valley squashed the Kardinals' momentum, though, when Coxon intercepted a pass at the Kenai blue line and scored a short-handed goal with 11:10 left in the game. Melissa Dianoski made it a two-goal Wolfpack lead with 3:47 left in the game, and Adam Toenis added an empty-netter with 47 seconds to play.
"We had some players really work hard," said West Valley coach Erik Drygas. "There were two or three kids playing in just their second or third game of the year. One of my lines was made up of defensemen. Another line had players with a combined total of six high school hockey games -- Melissa Dianoski got the goal on that line."
The Kardinals will face Dimond at the Soldotna Sports Center today at 8:15 p.m. while the Wolfpack will stay in town to play Soldotna at 5:30 p.m.
WOLFPACK 7, KARDINALS 4
West Valley 1 3 3 -- 7
Kenai 0 2 2 -- 4
First period -- 1. West Valley, Liebl (Oester, Dianoski), 14:02. Penalties -- Kenai 1 for 2:00.
Second period -- 2. West Valley, Simpson (Stoppler), 0:14; 3. West Valley, Simpson (Stoppler, Toenis), 2:50; 4. Kenai, Borchgrevink (Brewer, Hall), 11:37; 5. West Valley, Coxon (Rogers, Aldridge), 12:46; 6. Kenai, Borchgrevink (Brewer), 13:40 (pp). Penalties -- West Valley 3 for 6:00, Kenai 1 for 2:00.
Third period -- 7. Kenai, Brewer (Borchgrevink), 0:36; 8. Kenai, Borchgrevink (Brewer, Hall), 1:33; 9. West Valley, Coxon (unassisted), 3:50 (sh); 10. West Valley, Dianoski (Liebl), 11:13; 11. West Valley, Toenis (unassisted), 14:13. Penalties -- West Valley 5 for 26:00, Kenai 2 for 4:00.
Shots on goal -- West Valley 12-18-14--44, Kenai 6-14-12--32.
Goalies -- West Valley, Wicken (32 shots, 28 saves); Kenai, Campanella (43 shots, 37 saves).
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