Seniors Joseph Monsef — captain of the Juneau-Douglas High School hockey team— and Levi Mese — captain of visiting Kenai Central — each scored hat tricks Saturday night in a nonconference bout at Treadwell Arena, but only one of the two seniors saw his teammates score additional goals.
Mese, Miles Marston, Bailey Maxson, Jude Gabriel and Matt Hagel all wound up scoring for the Kardinals, whose hot start led to a 7-3 win over the Crimson Bears and a weekend series split.
Both teams came out skating aggressively, and in a twist of the events that unfolded in Friday’s first period, Kenai scored four goals in quick order as JDHS stuttered. The Kardinals built a four-goal lead in just 13 minutes of work, a scoring chasm that was a bit too wide for the Crimson Bears to cross in the rest of the game.
“It helps a lot, getting the early lead,” said Mese, who was last in Juneau with the 2014-15 Kardinals. “You just skate harder.”
Mese said improvements in the team’s passing helped secure the split with JDHS. Jakeb O’Brian assisted on two of the Mese’s goals and Jordan Knudsen on the other.
Despite a penalty-ridden second period, both teams continued their hard hitting in the third. Mese scored his third goal of the night less than two minutes into the period on the power play, bringing his team’s lead to three.
The following 10 minutes of the hockey game were controlled by JDHS, which forced Kenai’s Josh Tree to make several big saves.
“It was nice to see them rally together and never quit on it so I’m proud of how we played today,” JDHS head coach Luke Adams said. “I don’t hold anything against our team. Kenai was ready and they competed to a high level and they pushed us to be our best.”
Kenai added two more goals in the final three minutes of the game. Gabriel collected a rebound to score at 12:15 and Hagel found the back of the net a little over two minutes later.
The Crimson Bears take Thanksgiving week off, then host conference opponent West Valley Dec. 1-2.
Kenai 7, JDHS 3
Kenai 4 0 3 —7
JDHS 1 1 1 —3
1st period — 1. Kenai, Mese (O’Brian), 4:21; 2. Kenai, Marston (Bieser, Gabriel), PP, 9:33; 3. Mese (O’Brian, Hagel), 10:55; 4. Maxson (un.), 13:03; 5. Monsef (un.), 14:09. Penalties — JDHS 1 for 2:00.
2nd period — 6. JDHS, Monsef (Tuinsky, Bosse), PP, 7:58. Penalties — JDHS 3 for 6:00; Kenai 6 for 20:00.
3rd period — 7. Kenai, Mese (Knudsen), PP, 1:50; 8. JDHS, Monsef (Genitz), 8:54; 9. Kenai, Gabriel (Harvey, Marston), 12:15; 10. Kenai, Hagel (Eubank), 14:29. Penalities — JDHS 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal — Kenai 10-3-13—26; JDHS 11-9-9—29.
Goalies — Kenai, Tree (29 shots, 26 saves); JDHS, Dostal (8 shots, 4 saves); JDHS, Mitchell (18 shots, 15 saves)
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or email@example.com.