The Skyview High School hockey team rebounded from a slow start Thursday, but penalty trouble in the third period made it tough for the Panthers to catch Wasilla, dropping a 5-1 decision to the Warriors in a North Star Conference game at the Soldotna Sports Center.
"I thought we played moderately strong in the second and thirds periods, but the first period was weak," said Skyview's Nelson Kempf, the Panthers' lone goal-scorer. "We came out flat, and it wasn't the result we were hoping for."
The Warriors outshot the Panthers 16-4 in the first period, netting a pair of goals before the first intermission. Spencer Syvertson scored an unassisted goal 3:57 into the game, and Andrew Tumbleson made it 2-0 midway through the period.
"In the first period especially, we had real good puck movement, everyone was hustling, everyone was playing, and everyone was staying out of the penalty box," said Wasilla coach Eric Troisi.
Skyview played the Warriors even in the second period, outshooting Wasilla 11-8, and each team scored a goal.
James Elkins' first of two goals on the night gave the Warriors a 3-0 lead less than a minute into the period.
The Panthers finally got on the board with less than a minute to go in the period with a goal from Kempf. Cody Carver and Gabe Fellman assisted on the play.
Skyview was charged with four penalties in the third period, though, and Wasilla took advantage with two power-play goals. Elkins scored his second goal of the game midway through the period, and Alex Gittlien added an insurance goal with 2:53 left to play.
Wasilla's Ronnie Walker made 24 saves for the win while Skyview's Kris Marshall stopped 32 of 37 shots.
Kempf said the Panthers don't need to go back to the drawing board, they just need to be a little more focused early in the game.
"It's not our strategy, we just came out flat," Kempf said. "We've just got to work harder."
Skyview, now 3-3 overall, entertains Colony at 8 p.m. Wasilla, 4-3 overall and 3-0 in conference play, plays Kenai at 3:45 p.m.
Warriors 5, Panthers 1
Wasilla 2 1 2 -- 5
Skyview 0 1 0 -- 1
First period -- 1. Syvertson (unassisted), 3:57; 2. Wasilla, Tumbleson (Elkins, Dargis), 7:22; Penalties -- none.
Second period -- 3. Wasilla, Elkins (Dargis), 0:39; 4. Skyview, Kempf (Carver, Fellman), 14:21. Penalties -- Wasilla 1 for 2:00, Skyview 3 for 14:00.
Third period -- 5. Wasilla, Elkins (Dargis), 7:40 pp; 6. Wasilla, Gittlien (Syvertson, Kaufman), 12:07 pp. Penalties -- Wasilla 1 for 2:00, Skyview 4 for 8:00.
Shots -- Wasilla 16-8-13--37, Skyview 4-11-10--25.
Goalies -- Wasilla, Walker (25 shots, 24 saves); Skyview, Marshall (37 shots, 32 saves).
Colony 4, Soldotna 2
While he's been pleased with his team's improvement, Soldotna coach Aaron Swanson also said the Stars put out a subpar effort Thursday in a North Star Conference loss to Colony at the Soldotna Sports Center.
"We're just real disappointed with the effort we had," Swanson said. "The team's getting better, but this was probably our worst game of the year, as far as the effort goes."
Things started well for the Stars when Matt Vasilie scored a short-handed goal to give Soldotna a 1-0 lead just 2:02 into the game.
The Knights tied the game on a goal from Chase Allington with just under a minute left in the period, and Ryan Pauling scored the only goal of the second period to give Colony a 2-1 lead after two periods.
Vasilie netted his second goal of the evening 1:38 into the third period to knot the game at two, with assists from Johnny Mills and Dan Ghormley.
Colony answered with a goal by Pauling midway through the period, though, and the Knights put the game away with a power-play score by Dean Shultz with five minutes left to play.
Tyrel Henkel made 18 saves for the Knights. Jon Verhelst came up with 32 saves for the Stars.
"We had some breakdowns in our system, and the guys were definitely flat," Swanson said. "We weren't playing our system, we were giving up chances we shouldn't be giving up and they made us pay for them.
"(The team has) been told to be focused on (today's) game starting the second they walk out the door."
The Stars, still looking for their first win, will face Palmer at 5:45 p.m. at the Sports Center. Soldotna concludes the weekend with a 7:45 p.m. game against Wasilla Saturday.
Knights 4, Stars 2
Colony 1 1 2 -- 4
Soldotna 1 0 1 -- 2
First period -- 1. Soldotna, Vasilie (unassisted), 2:02 sh; 2. Colony, Allington (Huppert, Manelick), 14:02. Penalties -- Soldotna 2 for 4:00.
Second period -- 3. Colony, Pauling (Shultz, Beckman), 11:41. Penalties -- Colony 2 for 4:00.
Third period -- 4. Soldotna, Vasilie (Mills, Ghormley), 1:38; 5. Colony, Pauling (unassisted), 7:28; 6. Colony, Shultz (Allington, Arentz), 10:00 pp. Penalties -- Colony 2 for 4:00, Soldotna 2 for 12:00.
Shots -- Colony 14-11-11--36, Soldotna 10-5-5--20.
Goalies -- Colony, Henkel (20 shots, 18 saves); Soldotna, Verhelst (36 shots, 32 saves).
Kenai 7, Palmer 2
The Kardinals received points from 11 different players to stay undefeated in North Star Conference play Thursday at the Soldotna Sports Center.
"Everybody was grinding out there pretty good," Kenai coach Brian Gabriel Sr. said after the victory.
Charlie Smith actually had the most points for the Kardinals. He collected three assists on the evening for Kenai.
Kenai also received multiple point nights from Daniel Christianson (two goals), Johnny Smith, Phillip Ischi and Trevor Baldwin (a goal and an assist), and John McGlasson (two assists).
"Ischi did a good job tonight," Gabriel said. "He only had that one goal, but he had a lot to do with the good things happening in their zone."
In the Palmer zone, Kenai was able to cycle and possess the puck for most of the evening.
The Kardinals, who led 4-1 after the second period, outshot Palmer 43-10.
Gabriel liked the way Kenai kept pressing even when some of its flurries against Palmer netminder Kyle Berti came up empty.
"We've been working on our patience," Gabriel said. "At times, we'll do everything we should, the goalie will make a great save, and we'll get frustrated and get off our game.
"Tonight, we did a good job of being more patient."
The Kardinals defense also continued to limit opportunities for the opposition.
"Our defense has been stepping up," Gabriel said. "Since the Chugiak game, I don't think we've allowed more than two goals in a game."
Dan Silver made eight saves on 10 shots for the Kardinals. Also notching points for the Kardinals were Joel Christianson with an assist, Dustin Moore with a goal, Ryan Hicks with a goal and Micah Lillard with an assist.
Kenai will face Wasilla today at the Soldotna Sports Center at 3:45 p.m.
KARDINALS 7, MOOSE 2
Palmer 1 0 1 --2
Kenai 2 2 3 --7
First period -- 1. Kenai, D. Christianson (C. Smith, T. Baldwin), 2:07; 2. Palmer, Galvin (un.), 2:37; 3. Kenai, Hicks (McGlasson, J. Christianson), 5:24. Penalties -- none.
Second period -- 4. Kenai, J. Smith (J. McGlasson, Ischi), 8:53; 5. Kenai, D. Christianson (C. Smith), 13:00. Penalties -- Palmer 3 for 6:00; Kenai 1 for 2:00.
Third period -- 6. Palmer, Roy (Senta, Gabel), 3:34; 7. Kenai, Moore (Lampman-Reid, Lillard), 4:14; 8. Kenai, T. Baldwin (C. Smith), 8:36; 9. Kenai, Ischi (J. Smith), 9:53. Penalties -- Kenai 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal -- Palmer 2-1-7--10; Kenai 12-15-16--43.
Goalies -- Palmer, Berti (43 shots, 36 saves); Kenai, Silver (10 shots, 8 saves).
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