An early morning wake up call on Sunday pitted the Juneau-Douglas High School hockey team against their future playoff foe West Valley. (This sports editor mistakenly substituted Chugiak’s name for West Valley in the Sunday edition for the senior night game wrap up).
While the Wolfpack seemed rested and energized at 7:30 a.m. on the Treadwell Arena ice, the host Crimson Bears seemed to still be in hibernation.
“I would have thought we would come out a little bit differently,” JDHS coach Dave McKenna commented at the first period brake. “This is the time we practice every morning. And we usually look pretty good in the morning practices.”
After West Valley’s Seth Flory scored at the 13:56 mark of the first period, the Wolfpack capitalized on roughing penalties against JDHS’ Christian Jacobsen and Tod Baseden to tack on two more goals. Logan Henne scored at the 9:13 mark (assist by Zach Saveride) and Flory got his second of the period at the 3:57 mark (assists by Eric Weber and Keegan O’Brien) to open a 3-0 lead.
West Valley went up 4-0 at the 5:09 remaining in the second period when the Wolfpack’s Chris Nicolai scored (assist by Todd Hallsten), again due to a short-handed Crimson Bears defense.
Bill Holbrook gave the Crimson Bears their first score at the 4:43 mark of the second period with assists by Baseden and Zach Bicknell.
West Valley’s Nicolai was assisted by Hallsten again at the 7:05 mark of the final period for a 5-1 advantage.
Zach Easton countered for JDHS at the 6:47 mark with assists by Ethan Seid and Marc Heifetz. The Wolfpack finished the period with a score from Austin Roberts (assists Zach Saveride and Weber).
Kevin Zigarlick was whistled for boarding in the second period and tripping in the third; Heifetz was called for roughing and Bicknell for slashing in the third. West Valley’s Flory was called for roughing in the first; Saveride for tripping and Henne for unsportsmanlike conduct in the second; and Casey Lewandoski for unsportsmanlike conduct and Nicolai for language twice in the final period.
JDHS put 31 shots against Wolfpack goalie Huck Hobber, while West Valley put 30 attempts on Crimson Bears stoppers Griffin Bozarth and Colter Pritchard. JDHS will play either Lathrop or West Valley in the first round of the Mid Alaska Conference playoffs Feb. 3 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Patty Center. West Valley has beaten Lathrop once this season and has one game remaining against the Malemutes. The Crimson Bears finish the regular season with a 4-4 conference record and are 11-9 overall.