Soldotna's Timo Gleason and Kenai's Dean Howell hit the wall while chasing the puck in the second period Thursday at the Soldotna Sports Center.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
After getting knocked to the ice and confronting his attacker, Kenai’s Jed McGlasson skated to the penalty box for 10 minutes on a misconduct call.
“We were thankful,” Soldotna coach Aaron Swanson said with a laugh.
Unfortunately for the Stars, 10 minutes just wasn’t enough.
McGlasson emerged from the box to begin the third period with a vengeance and turned what was a 3-2 advantage at the time into a 5-2 final after capping the scoring with a short-handed tally before a capacity crowd at the Soldotna Sports Center on Thursday night.
“There’s no good thing coming out of (the penalty) besides you really want to get back in the game,” said McGlasson, who collected his fourth hat trick of the season. “And you get really pumped to get back in the game.”
Clearly you do.
The penalty came only 4:48 into the middle frame after the Kardinals had just taken a 3-1 lead when Dom Eubank slid the puck behind SoHi goalie Micah Perletti. But the puck hugged the goal line all the way across to the opposite side, where Taylor Brewer tapped it in for the Kardinals’ third power-play goal of the game.
With McGlasson in the box, though, it didn’t take long for the Stars to capitalize.
Just over two minutes later, Clayton Glick sent the puck past Kenai goaltender Lauren Baldwin, trimming the deficit to 3-2.
And they nearly knotted the game seconds later when Ben Christianson fed Eli Waldrip in the middle, but his shot sailed just wide of the net.
Having to watch as his team nearly relinquished its lead was painful for McGlasson.
“It made me think about what I had done and what I needed to start doing,” he said.
Following the second intermission, he was back to his old tricks.
With 7:07 to play, senior Owen Dukowitz fed McGlasson of the faceoff. McGlasson then shot it by Perletti’s far side, extending the lead to 4-2.
Following a tripping penalty on Kenai, McGlasson netted a short-handed goal when he received a pass in front from a streaking Dean Howell and deked Perletti, backhanding it between his shoulder and the pipe for the final tally.
“He was pretty quiet in the locker room in between periods,” said Kardinals’ assistant coach Nick Wirz. “So, when he went out there, you could tell that he was on a mission to get it back.”
“He came out, after the penalty was over there in the third, with a fire lit in him for sure,” he said.
After taking a 1-0 lead when Glick found Christianson wide open in front of the net for an easy power-play goal only 3:37 into the contest, Soldotna couldn’t seem to find an answer for Kenai’s extra man shifts.
“The big thing early in the game was their power play was just very dominant and we had to make some adjustments,” Swanson explained. “We can definitely live with that many penalties (six) for a good, average number.
“Against a team like that with guys moving the puck as well as they do, especially early on before we were able to make our adjustments, it was tough.”
Kenai’s McKenan Steinbeck tied the game when he cut into the middle from behind the net and scored with only seven seconds left on a Kardinal power play and McGlasson made it 2-1 when he sent a slap shot sailing through the defense and into the net with 2:21 remaining in the first.
“That’s the best team defense I’ve seen, we’ve played all year,” Wirz said. “They clicked tonight.”
That stout defense translated into a potent offense which Perletti denied quite frequently, saving 38 of the 43 shots he faced, while Baldwin turned away nine of 11.
“Micah, he’s a great goaltender. He’s got some awesome saves,” Wirz said. “Odd-man rushes, he’s not going to be able to stop them. Goalies aren’t supposed to stop those.”
Matthew Carroll can be reached at matthew.carroll @peninsulaclarion.com.
KARDINALS 6, STARS 0
Kenai 2 1 2 5
Soldotna 1 1 0 2
First period 1. Soldotna, Christianson (Glick, Waldrip), 3:37 (pp); 2. Kenai, Steinbeck (Fusaro), 6:11; 3. Kenai, McGlasson (Fusaro), 12:39 (pp). Penalties Kenai 1 for 2:00; Soldotna 2 for 4:00.
Second period 4. Kenai, Brewer (Eubank, Cronkhite), 3:25 (pp); 5. Soldotna, Glick, (un.), 6:55. Penalties Kenai 1 for 10:00; Soldotna 3 for 6:00.
Third period 6. Kenai, McGlasson (Dukowitz), 7:53; 7. Kenai, McGlasson (Howell), 11:13 (sh). Penalties Kenai 3 for 6:00, Soldotna 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal Kenai 11-20-1243; Soldotna 3-3-511.
Goalies Kenai, Baldwin (11 shots-9 saves); Soldotna, Perletti (43 shots-38 saves).
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