A tough first period on Wednesday night put the Juneau-Douglas High School hockey team into a deep 4-1 net-hole against the Lathrop Malemutes that would take a miracle to get out of on the Treadwell Arena ice.
The divine intervention did not come as JDHS was outshot 42-15 on the night, but the Crimson Bears would skate even with the visiting powerhouse from Fairbanks through the final two periods.
“We told them to keep it simple,” JDHS coach Dave McKenna said. “That first period we were not getting pucks deep when we had the opportunity too. We only had two shots that first period and we didn’t start physical.”
Lathrop’s Conner Nilson scored unassisted at the 11:26 mark for the game’s first goal, and then followed that up at 7:46 with his second of the night on an assist by Nick Jensen.
The Malemutes’ Maxwell Blankenship hit at 6:40 (assists Cole Stephens, Logan Parsley) and Joshua Clifton tallied at 6:16 unassisted.
Trailing 4-0, the Crimson Bears Dillon Tomaro broke the drought with 1:36 remaining with assists by Cole Cheeseman and Matthew Campbell.
Coach’s advice of keeping it simple, playing with emotion and checking made the difference in the second period.
While Lathrop’s Tristan Ramaker tallied at 11:32 (assist Parsley and Blankenship), the Crimson Bears seemed to be skating with more desire for the puck.
With :23 remaining Ethan Seid backhanded a shot for a goal, assisted by Tod Baseden and Marc Heifetz.
Lathrop put the games final two goals in the third period with Alex Parker netting at 8:50 (assist Clifton) and Clifton netting at 1:03 (assist Wesley Evans).
The Stars of the game honors went to Lathrop’s Conner Nilson and Joshua Clifton and JDHS’ Dillon Tomaro
“It was not the start we wanted,” McKenna said. “But we showed some heart to claw back. You can’t focus on the X’s and O’s if you don’t show a little enthusiasm out on the ice. We really played with better intensity and more fore-checking out there after that first period.”