The Juneau-Douglas Ice Association Capitals team won the 2012 Bantam Tier III state hockey championships recently in Palmer with a 6-2 title victory over the Fairbanks Phantoms.
Fans witnessed a Juneau offence that used passing, speed and physical play to overwhelm the Fairbanks defense. The Capitals peppered Phantoms goalie James Culley with 21 shots in the first period. Team play and defense were key for the Capitals throughout the tournament and their fast pace and aggressive play of the kept the title game consistently in the Fairbanks zone. The first Capital player to take advantage of the situation was Shane Moeller who received a pass from Corey West in front of the Phantoms net and fired the puck past the outstretched goalie to give Juneau a 1-0 lead.
The second period was dominated by strong defensive play by Cole Cheeseman, Kaipo Tsue, Luke Sewell and Michael Dale who frustrated the Fairbanks forwards with accurate passes, good communication and aggressive physical play in the neutral zone allowing only allowed 2 Fairbanks shots to reach the Juneau goalie.
The offensive effort in the second period was handled by Logan Moser who scored his first of three goals at 6:48 after a hard shot by Kyle Schramm produced a rebound shot he slid past the Fairbanks goalie.
Logan scored three minutes later on a shorthanded goal by winning a race for the puck behind the Phantoms net, battling hard to gain possession and stick handling past the Fairbanks defense and goalie to score unassisted.
Logan’s third goal in succession, termed a “natural hat trick”, came after Grant Ainsworth put a hard shot on the Fairbanks goal that created another rebound opportunity that Logan wasted no time putting in the back of the net making the score 4-1 at the end of the second period.
Fairbanks mounted a strong comeback in the third when Phantoms forward, Sam Stutzke, took a pass from line mate Conall Birkolz and powered his way through several Juneau players to score Fairbanks first goal of the game.
Juneau continued to pressure Fairbanks goalie Culley but the score remained 3-1 with 3:18 left in the game when Phantoms forward, Conall Birkholz, snapped a shot past the Juneau goalie scoring an unassisted goal making the score 4-2.
After calling a Juneau time out to review both the score and time left in the game, Capitals forward Dalton Lallier collected the puck near center ice and weaved through the Fairbanks defense beating the goalie with a hard wrist shot making the score 5-2. One minute later Lallier skated hard towards the net scoring an unassisted goal while being taken off his feet by the Phantom defensemen making the final score 6-2
The JDIA Capitals went 5-0 on their road to the title.
The opening game was a 7-1 win over the Anchorage Hockey Association (AHA) Comet’s.
Head coach, Dennis Weston and Assistant coaches Ben Lallier and Darryl Tsue put together two strong forward lines and set a fast pace in the first period outshooting the comets 10-0.
Lallier opened the Capital’s scoring early in the second period with a goal that was assisted by Kaipo Tsue. With the lead in hand, Juneau took control of the game with goals from Shane Moeller (assist Moser and Chase Barnum) and Moser (assist Barnum) and a second goal by Lallier (assist Schram and Moser).
The Comets were also able to get on the score board in the second period when Chris Burnett tallied the lone Anchorage goal of the game.
The third period saw the Capital’s continue to build on earlier success with goals by Moser (assisted by Lallier) and Lallier who scored his third and fourth goals of the game. Juneau goalie, Hunter Hickok, stopped 6 out of 7 shots in the game.
Capitals 7, Fairbanks Phantoms 1
The Capitals next defeated the Fairbanks Anchorage Hockey Association (FAHA) Phantoms. A balanced attack by both forward lines produced immediate pressure on the FAHA net and steady offence throughout the game.
With roughly 6 minutes left in the first period, Lallier received a pass from Tsue and Corey West before shooting the puck past the outstretched FAHA goalie. Less than a minute later, Tsue skated fast down the ice and snapped (sniped) a shot over the FAHA goalies left shoulder to score an unassisted goal giving the Capitals a 2-0 lead as the first period ended.
Lallier rushed into the Phantoms zone and scored his second goal of the game making it 3-0 just a minute into the second period. With 7 minutes left in the second period Juneau added to their lead when Shane Moeller spotted a loose puck just inside the Fairbanks zone and released a blistering slap shot that the Phantoms goalie was unable to stop (assist Cole Cheeseman and Barnum).
The Capital’s Tsue weaved through traffic in front of the Phantoms net and chipped the puck past the outstretched goalie (assist Barnum) to make the score 5-0 with four minutes remaining in the second.
The third period began with Barnum taking the initiative himself in front of the net by scoring his second point and first goal of the game (assist Cheeseman and Corey West) making the score 6-0.
The Phantoms were able to score their lone goal of the contest at 2:55 of the third period when Sam Stuzke stick handled his way into the Capital’s zone and released a quick shot that found the back of the net making the score 6-1.
With less than minute left in the game, Lallier skated up the ice from his defensive position stick handling through several Fairbanks players before scoring his third goal of the game to make the final score 7-1. Hickok stopped 5 out of 6 shots in the game.
Capitals 2, South Anchorage Moose 2
In game three, consistent with Friday’s games, Juneau produced strong defense and a balanced attack by both forward lines creating pressure on the Moose net but despite having not won a single game in the tournament, the South Anchorage team clearly wanted a victory.
South goalie, Blaze Denton, helped the Mighty Moose defense keep Juneau off the scoreboard despite being outshot 2 to1 in the first period. They also were able to produce some offense themselves when Tyler Brietenstien collected the puck in front of the Juneau net and wasted no time putting the Moose in front 1-0.
Less than two minutes later, the Capitals answered back when Moser (assisted by Kyle Schramm) collected a rebound in front of the net and tied the score 1-1.
The Capital’s came out strong in the second period peppering the Moose goalie with 14 shots but it was the South Anchorage that once again took the lead when Sam Ripley received a pass from Taylor Norman and found the back of the Juneau net making the score 2-1. With 2:41 left in the second period and Juneau with a man advantage power play, Lallier received a pass from Tseu and was able to score with a quick snap shot just inside the left post making the score 2-2.
The third period found the Might Moose relying heavily on the skill of their goalie as he turned back 13 Juneau shots to preserve the 2-2 score as the game concluded.
Juneau’s Hickok stopped 10 out of 12 shots in the game while the South Anchorage goalie turned away 33 out of 35 shots.
Capitals 4, Homer Mariners 2
Juneau found a hard hitting physical game against Homer, with both teams battling hard along the boards and in front of their respective nets to keep the score 0-0 after one period. Both goalies played a spectacular period turning back all shots to keep the score tied.
Three minutes into the second period, Homer forward Maverick Ivanoff opened the scoring with a quick shot close to the net that caught the Capital’s off guard in the defensive zone making the score 1-0. With just over 5 minutes remaining in the second and both teams looking for any opportunity to score, Juneau defensemen Luke Sewell collected a loose puck along the boards and placed a hard shot on the Mariners goal that rebounded directly to his teammate Schramm who wasted no time shooting the puck into the Homer net making the score 1-1. Later in the second Lallier entered the Mariners zone with speed and was able to stickhandle his way past several defenders and the net minder to score an unassisted goal giving Juneau a 2-1 lead.
Early in the third period Moser was able to build on the lead when he maintained his position near the Mariners net and scored his first goal of the game (assisted by Lallier and Tseu) making the score 3-1. Tseu scored the Capital’s final goal when he paired up with Barnum to move the puck towards the Homer net resulting in a 4-1 lead. Homer tallied their second goal of the game with 18 seconds remaining when Kiril Sanarov pushed the puck passed the Juneau goalie making the score 4-2. Hickok stopped 13 out of 15 shots in the game.