The Juneau-Douglas High School hockey team won its first conference game of the season in four tries last week in Fairbanks.
This weekend, it will try to pick up two more against visiting North Pole High School.
In their final home and regular season games of the season, the Crimson Bears (3-10, 1-3 MAC) challenge the Patriots tonight at 8 p.m. and tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Treadwell Arena. Senior night festivities will precede tomorrow’s game and start at 6:30 p.m.
Jacob Dale, Tim McKenna, Kane Ginter, Joseph Monsef and Cole Barelli make up this year’s senior class.
Tickets are $8 for adults and $3 for students.
A win on Friday and JDHS will have secured its first back-to-back wins of the season. JDHS defeated Lathrop 4-0 in a conference matchup on Friday at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Patty Ice Arena.
North Pole is 0-2 in conference games this season and will have two left to play after they finish up in Juneau. Before their triumph on Friday, JDHS was 0-3 in Mid-Alaska Conference games.
“We’ve had some bumps and bruises this season, both physically and emotionally, but this is usually the time of the year where we start playing our best hockey,” JDHS head coach Luke Adams said.
Sophomore goaltender Cody Mitchell’s performance Friday certainly backs up Adams’ words. Mitchell made 26 saves against Lathrop to earn his second career shutout.
Less than 24 hours earlier Mitchell had one of his worst games of the season in a 6-2 loss. On top of the that, backup goaltender Dawson Hickok jinxed Mitchell before the start of the second period, telling him he was going to get a shutout in the game.
“There’s always the superstition of not saying the word, ‘shutout,’ before or during your game,” said Mitchell, smiling as he recounted the incident. “And he skates up to me, and he’s a freshman so I don’t know if he doesn’t know it or something, he’s like, ‘Let’s get the shutout bud! You’re going to get a shutty today!’”
Mitchell, incredulous at his teammate’s lack of awareness of the superstition, decided to roll with it.
“About halfway through the third period, I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, this jinx can’t be real,” he said. “I guess it just doesn’t really matter to say it.”
Hickok and junior Wolf Dostal have also seen action in net this season. Coach Adams says all three of his goalies practice with the varsity team to speed up their development and give each the opportunity to compete for the starting spot.
“We’re putting a lot of faith in all our goalies in development and having a solid front,” Adams said. “Just right now, Cody’s got a lot of talent and we see little glimpses of development that show he can compete at a high level when he’s on.”
The MAC Playoffs are Feb. 1-3 in Fairbanks.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.