Max Osgood was simply oh-so-good.
The West Anchorage sophomore scored a career-best three goals and added an assist to lead the Eagles past the Kenai Central hockey team 5-3 on Friday evening at the Soldotna Sports Center.
It was the first career hat trick for Osgood, who scored twice in the third period and was credited with an assist on the game's final goal.
Each time the Eagles made a big play, Osgood was in the middle of the fray.
"That kid had a fantastic game," Kenai Central coach Pete Iverson said.
Connor Cleary scored the decisive goal for West with 3:19 to play, firing a shot through traffic from the right wing with West on the power play. Kenai Central goaltender Keegan Remsen got a glove on the puck, but couldn't hold on as it bounced into the net, giving the Eagles a 4-3 lead.
Osgood stole an errant pass less than 30 seconds later, setting up a three-on-zero breakaway for West (2-8-0). In open ice, he dumped the puck to Adam Manzer, who beat Remsen to make it 5-3.
The quick strikes erased a comeback bid by the Kardinals, who fell behind 3-1 but tied the game with a pair of goals midway through the period.
"We knew we had to come back with a few quick goals," Osgood said. "Coach knew we knew what to do. He didn't have to say anything."
Osgood didn't have to say much, either. It was apparent to everyone he was the man of the match.
The victory was timely for the Eagles, who entered the contest having lost eight of nine games.
"It feels good," Osgood said. "Exciting."
Iverson was disappointed with his team's effort through two periods, but applauded the players' resiliency after falling behind.
The Kards were shorthanded due to injuries and academic ineligibility and were stagnant on offense through two periods.
It wasn't until Osgood gave West a two-goal cushion with a pair of strikes early in the third that Kenai Central's TJ Wagoner scored in traffic to make it 3-2 on an assist from Dylan Hendricks at the 7:19 mark.
With 6:30 to play, Kards forward Russell Dukowitz evened the score on assists from Remsen and Cunningham to even the score.
Still, Iverson said, the Kards must play with more energy if they expect to win.
"Our guys played like they weren't there tonight," he said. "I don't know."
The first two periods were an afterthought given the fireworks in the third.
Osgood gave West a 1-0 lead midway through the first, finishing a two-on-one breakaway after taking a pass on the left wing from Nick Bruner, who had intercepted an errant Kenai Central cross.
The Kardinals tied the game in the second on a Jacob Iverson goal, assisted by Avery Palchikoff.
Mustangs 2, Kardinals 0
Joe Lindquist shut out Kenai on Saturday night at the Soldotna Sports Center to give the Mustangs a nonconference win.
Chugiak scored both of its goals in the first period. Tyler Viens and Kris Tomazevic, assisted by Jake Wells, had the tallies.
Eagles 5, Kardinals 3
West Anchorage 1 0 4 --5
Kenai Central 0 1 2 --3
First period -- 1. West Anchorage, Osgood (Bruner), 7:18. Penalties -- None.
Second period -- 2. Kenai Central, Iverson (Palchikoff), 12:07. Penalties -- West Anchorage 3 for 6:00; Kenai Central 1 for 2:00.
Third period -- 3. West Anchorage, Osgood (unassisted), 3:04; 4. West Anchorage, Osgood (Bruner, Manzer), 7:36; 5. Kenai Central, Wagoner (Hendricks), 7:41; 6. Kenai Central, Dukowitz (Cunningham, Remsen), 8:30; 7. West Anchorage, Cleary (Manzer, Thompson), pp, 11:41; 8. West Anchorage, Manzer (Osgood, Bruner), pp, 12:12. Penalties -- West Anchorage none; Kenai Central 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal -- West Anchorage 3-14-11-28; Kenai Central 7-6-10-23.
Goalies -- West Anchorage, Darien Dahl (23 shots-20 saves); Kenai River, Keegan Remsen (28 shots-23 saves).
Power plays -- West Anchorage 2 of 2; Kenai Central 0 of 3.
Mustangs 2, Kardinals 0
Chugiak 2 0 0 --2
Kenai 0 0 0 --0
First period -- 1. Chugiak, Viens (un.), 5:05; 2. Chugiak, Tomazevic (Wells), 10:27. Penalties -- Kenai 3 for 6:00; Chugiak 1 for 2:00.
Second period -- none. Penalties -- Kenai 1 for 2:00; Chugiak 2 for 4:00.
Third period -- none. Penalties -- Chugiak 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal -- Chugiak 15-11-5--31; Kenai 6-6-9--21.
Goalies -- Chugiak, Lindquist (21 shots, 21 saves); Kenai, Remsen (30 shots, 28 saves).
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.