The Nikiski High School hockey team dropped a Greatland Conference game 4-1 to the Kenny Lake Hawks Friday night at Jason Peterson Memorial Rink in Nikiski, but the Bulldogs did manage to improve their performance after going scoreless in four straight games.
In fact, Lex Litzen's power-play goal late in the third period was the Bulldogs' first tally since their last meeting with the Hawks Nov. 10 at Kenny Lake.
"There were some good things that came out of tonight," said Nikiski coach Irv Smith. "We had 22 shots on goal -- last game we only had nine, so we picked it up as far as that goes."
The Bulldogs played the Hawks even through much of the first period until Kenny Lake was able to pot three goals in a span of 2:02 late in the first period. Cody Oatman, Jesse Jansen and Tom Kimberlin were credited with the Kenny Lake goals.
"The main thing that's helped us win these two games (Kenny Lake defeated Homer Thursday) was our best teamwork of the year," said Kenny Lake coach Shawn Friendshuh. "We had some good passing and some really pretty goals."
The Hawks added another goal in the second period before Litzen was able to beat Kenny Lake goalie Michael Kimberlin with his shot from the slot with 6:17 left to play in the third period.
Nikiski's Brad Harrison slows Kenny Lake's Cody Oatman during the second period Friday.
Photo by M. SCOTT MOON
"He's playing really well as a freshman," Friendshuh said of his goalie. "He doesn't have a lot of experience, but he's got the basic skills down and he's going to get better each game."
Nigel Penhale stopped 35 shots in the Nikiski goal.
The Hawks improve to 2-3 overall while Nikiski falls to 1-8-1 overall.
HAWKS 4, BULLDOGS 1
Kenny Lake 3 1 0 -- 4
Nikiski 0 0 1 -- 1
First period -- 1. Kenny Lake, Oatman, 8:58; 2. Kenny Lake, Hansen, 9:20; 3. Kenny Lake, T. Kimberlin, 11:00. Penalties -- Kenny Lake 3 for 6:00, Nikiski 1 for 2:00.
Second period --4. Kenny Lake, Butler, 13:41 (pp). Penalties -- Nikiski 2 for 4:00.
Third period -- 5. Nikiski, Litzen (Womack, Oliva), 8:43 (pp). Penalties -- Kenny Lake 4 for 8:00, Nikiski 3 for 6:00.
Shots -- Kenny Lake 15-13-11--39, Nikiski 8-5-9--22.
Goalies -- Kenny Lake, M. Kimberlin (22 shots, 21 saves); Nikiski, Penhale (39 shots, 35 saves).
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