Soldotna hockey drops consecutive contests
The Soldotna hockey team dropped consecutive nonconference contests at the Soldotna Sports Center, falling 5-2 to Service on Friday and 2-1 to South on Saturday.
SoHi, which faces Kenai Central at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the sports center, drops to 9-4-1 overall.
The losses left coach Aaron Swanson questioning his team’s effort.
“The biggest thing I’m hoping the kids learned is, we need to have every player on the ice going 100 percent,” Swanson said. “There were times this weekend where we didn’t have everybody going.”
SoHi kept it close for half the contest Friday, but Service scored five goals over the final two periods.
Andrew Cummings and Garrett Brown each had a goal and two assists for the Cougars, while Greg Johnson had three assists.
The Stars were led by the two goals of Josh Kerkvliet.
The game was scoreless through 28 minutes before a flurry of action in the closing moments of the second period.
Service took a 1-0 lead with 2:12 left in the frame when Aaron McInnis snuck a shot through traffic and past SoHi goaltender Cody Harvey. Brown and Jeremy Smith earned assists.
But the Stars quickly responded when Dalton Pearson took the puck into the Service zone and slapped a shot toward the net.
The attempt bounced off goalie Dustin Fritz and came to a streaking Kerkvliet, who poked it into the net at the 1:42 mark. Pearson and Michael Erickson were credited with assists.
Then the Cougars blew it open.
Henry Yawit gave Service a 2-1 lead with 1:14 remaining in the period, taking a pass in front of the net and one-timing the puck past Harvey on assists from Cummings and Johnson.
Service poured it on in with three consecutive goals in the third, building a 5-1 lead. The scores went to Brown, Cummings and Karson Frisk.
Kerkvliet made it 5-2 with less than two minutes to play, but it wasn’t nearly enough as the Cougars outshot the Stars 48-15.
Saturday, Swanson said there also was a large disparity in shots as the Stars spent most of their time in the defensive zone.
South scored once in the first and again in the second before Matty Silta cut the lead in half with a third-period goal.
Swanson said his side didn’t create enough scoring chances.
Harvey took the loss in goal.
“We spent a lot of time in our defensive zone and stayed within our systems, but unfortunately we couldn’t get down to get a few more goals,” Swanson said.
Cougars 5, Stars 2
Service 0 2 3 —5
Soldotna 0 1 1 —2
First period — No scoring. Penalties — None.
Second period — 1. Service, McInnis (Brown, Smith), 12:48; 2. Soldotna, Kerkvliet (Pearson, Erickson), 13:18; 3. Service, Yawit (Cummings, Johnson), 13:46. Penalties — Service none; Soldotna 2 for 4:00.
Third period — 4. Service, Brown (Cummings, Johnson), pp, 1:15; 5. Service, Cummings (Brown, Johnson), pp, 3:03; 6. Service, Frisk (Klancher), 10:17; 7. Soldotna, Kerkvliet (Hegge), 13:03. Penalties — Service 4 for 16:00; Soldotna 1 for 2:00.
Penalties — Service 4 for 16:00; Soldotna 3 for 6:00.
Shots on goal — Service (11-19-18—48); Soldotna (4-7-4—15).
Goalies — Service, Fritz (15 shots, 13 saves); Soldotna, Harvey (48 shots, 43 saves).