Kenai Central hockey pummeled by South, Service
About all the Kenai Central hockey team can do now is go back to the drawing board.
The Kardinals lost by a combined score of 18-1 on Friday and Saturday at the Soldotna Sports Center, falling 6-1 to South before getting flattened a night later against Service, 12-0.
With the losses, the team falls to 4-8-2 overall.
Coach Pete Iverson didn’t sugarcoat the situation.
“They slaughtered us, totally overwhelmed us,” Iverson said of Saturday’s loss. “They just handed us our hats.”
Iverson said his side was outshot 20-1 in the first period Saturday, putting goaltender Keegan Remsen in the line of fire.
“You can’t win hockey games playing like that,” the coach said.
Friday’s game wasn’t much better, although at least the Kards got on the scoreboard. And they even held a brief lead.
Zack Zulkanycz opened the scoring when he pushed the puck into the net on an unassisted drive inside the six-minute mark of the first period, giving the Kards a 1-0 lead.
Zulkanycz, the team’s leading producer with 18 goals, gained possession in the middle of the rink, drove toward the net and scored amid a three-player pileup after he was upended in the crease.
That was about all that went right for the Kards, who gave up 37 shots through two periods.
South netted three goals in a span of 1:56 to end the first, turning the 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 advantage.
The first two goals came off the stick of Conor Nicoll, who first scored with 1:56 to play on assists from Jake Davis and Steven Orizotti. He struck again, unassisted, with 1:25 remaining.
Then with 11 seconds to go in the frame, Gavin Lube finished assists from Patrick Taylor and Steven Gustafson.
Three different players scored for South in the second and third periods as the Wolverines dominated possession.
“They are a strong team with a lot of depth,” Iverson said. “Our guys did OK, but we can always do better.”
Despite the numbers, Iverson credited Remsen. The coach also said Zulkanycz, Luke Short, TJ Wagoner, Zack Mese and Russell Dukowitz had good weekends, as did Andrew Hamilton.
Kenai Central hopes to get back on track when it hosts Soldotna at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the sports center.
“These games never hurt us even though they hurt,” Iverson said. “We have a lot of stuff to work on. The team sees they have a lot of work to do.”
Wolverines 6, Kardinals 1
South 3 1 2 —6
Kenai Central 1 0 0 —1
First period — 1. Kenai Central, Zulkanycz (unassisted), sh, 5:49; 2. South, Nicoll (Davis, Orizotti), 13:04; 3. South, Nicoll (unassisted), 13:35; 4. South, Lubin (Taylor, Gustafson), 14:49. Penalties — South 1 for 2:00; Kenai Central 3 for 6:00.
Second period — 5. South, Taylor (not listed), 6:25. Penalties — South 1 for 2:00; Kenai Central 1 for 2:00.
Third period — 6. South, Klatt (Sandstrom, Nokelby), 7:47; 7. South, McPheters (Mackie), 13:17. Penalties — South 3 for 6:00; Kenai Central 2 for 4:00.
Penalties — South 5 for 10:00; Kenai Central 6 for 12:00.