In the final minutes of the first half on Saturday, the Ketchikan fans at Fawn Mountain went wild, cheering exuberantly with whoops of support and one parent gasping for breath and saying, “resuscitate me.”
All the hoopla was brought about by the Kings’ best play of the afternoon, a pair of perfect passes leading to a golden scoring opportunity. The shot, however, hit the outside of the net, and the Kings scoreless streak against Juneau-Douglas continued with a 5-0 loss.
Although the score didn’t indicate it, the Juneau attack wasn’t nearly as overwhelming as it had been in Friday’s 4-0 Crimson Bears victory. Quick, well-placed midfield passing by the Kings allowed the team to create some offensive pressure, with junior Alec Pankow and senior Gabe Potts repeatedly getting the ball deep down the field before being shut off by the Juneau defense.
“I think they came out and gave it a good effort, but we have a good defense and it is hard to get through them,” Juneau-Douglas coach Gary Lehnhart said.
The upfield pressure by Ketchikan did leave some open field in its defensive zone, however, that Juneau-Douglas was able to capitalize on with efficient counterattacks despite some impressive defensive play by Case Kuikhoven.
“I’ve always wanted to beat Juneau, but sadly that didn’t happen,” Potts said. “We played our hardest out there.”
Juneau-Douglas finished 4-0 against Ketchikan on the season, outscoring the Kings 17-0.
Potts was at the end of Ketchikan’s best scoring attempt, pushing a crossing pass from Pankow just wide.
“Alec crossed the ball perfectly and I thought I could make it,” Potts said. “I had to shoot from my off foot and I just couldn’t get it. It was a good ball by Alec.”
Pankow received the ball up the right side on a feed from senior Scott McKay, who led Pankow perfectly with his outlet pass, allowing Pankow to get behind the defense and have room to make his crossing pass to Potts at the far side of the net.
“We connected on our short passes better through the mid-field,” Pankow said. “We did manage to put more pressure on them, but with that they were also able to counterattack.”
Juneau-Douglas senior captain Max Smith led the Crimson Bears’ attack with a pair of goals and an assist. He finished with four goals in the two-game series.
“He set the career assist record a couple of games ago,” Lehnhart said. “He is one of the most dynamic offensive players we’ve had in our program.”
Smith scored four minutes into the game to give Juneau a 1-0 lead. Adam Soto scored off an assist by Smith at the 18-minute mark to make it 2-0 before Smith added his second goal at 22 minutes. A goal by Johnny Joyce on a free kick finished the first-half scoring.
Juneau-Douglas’ Riley Paul added a final tally five minutes into the second half.
The Crimson Bears advanced to state as the Southeast Region champion.
Ketchikan finished its season with a 9-7 mark. Against teams not named Juneau-Douglas, the Kings were 9-3, outscoring the opposition 29-11.