The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears’ hockey team returned to the ice after a holiday break and beat the Hutchison Hawks on the road 2-1 Wednesday night in Fairbanks.
Freshman Jonathan Weston filled the net late in the first period to give JDHS a 1-0 lead.
That score began with a heads-up play by junior Kevin Sigler in the defensive zone. Sigler caught a puck in mid-air and hand-passed it forward to sprinting senior Chris Jacobsen. The catch and pass is legal only in the defensive zone, something only Sigler seemed to know, as Hutchison coaches were irate.
Jacobsen then passed the puck on to classmate Bill Holbrook. Holbrook fed Weston who flipped in the point.
Hutchison scored early in the second period to tie the score at 1-1.
Holbrook blasted in an unassisted slap shot late in the final period to give the Crimson Bears a 2-1 lead. The Hawks pulled their goalie in the final minute to try and get a better shot on JDHS junior goaltender Griffin Bozarth.
“Griff played on his head for us,” Coaches Dave McKenna and Matt Boline said via email. “He kept us in the game.”
Bozarth was selected the star of the game for JDHS. An empty net shot by the Crimson Bears hit the cross bar as time expired.
JDHS had 20 shots at the Hawks goal while Bozarth stopped 32 of Hutchison’s blasts.
Fairbanks is the site of the Mid-Alaska Conference playoffs. The top four teams make the conference playoffs.
The Crimson Bears have sealed at least third seed. Based on how they play at Lathrop on Friday and Saturday and West Valley next weekend at home, JDHS could be ranked first or second but no lower than third.
The top two teams from the MAC playoffs advance to state. If the Crimson Bears win one playoff game they are on to state. The MAC title game decides state tournament seeding and conference bragging rights.