Juneau-Douglas and West Valley squared off at Treadwell Arena on Saturday night in front of a packed house of hockey fans.
West Valley is the top team in the Mid-Alaskan Conference, and they showed it Saturday night, rolling over the Bears 8-2 in the third JDHS game in as many days.
The final score was lop-sided, but JDHS held its own for the first two periods of play.
In the first period, JDHS Senior Nick Mow scored quickly off a close-range shot with an assist from Chris Budbill. West Valley answered with two goals by Tanner Shoemaker and Brandon Edson to go up 2-1 in the first period.
West Valley dominated the puck for most of the first period and would continue to dominate the puck for most of the game. Both teams played physical, with frequent bumps and checks. However, it was West Valley's superior skating and passing that gave it the edge.
In the second period, JDHS tied the game briefly at 2-2 after a beautiful pass from Mow to Budbill. During a face off play, Mow passed directly to Budbill, who shot it straight into the net. The tie was brief as West valley responded quickly, scoring just 20 seconds later off a breakaway play by Sam Bratton. West Valley scored again to take a 4-2 lead after two periods of play.
Bears' goalkeeper Garret Cheeseman had 34 saves for the game and managed to hold back a relentless offensive barrage for the first two periods of play.
West Valley had 42 shots on goal and the Bears only managed nine. West Valley was relentless in their attack, and the pressure was just too much in the thirdperiod.
West Valley scored four goals in the final frame, with 16 shots on goal, compared to just one for JDHS. West Valley's Sam Bratton had a hat trick, with one goal during the second period and two more in the third.
Fatigue may have been a factor for the Bears during the third period after playing three games in a row. The previous two games against Bartlett were physical. With the win, West Valley goes to 10-4-2 on the season, and Juneau falls to 8-9, 2-5. The teams will meet again today at 1:30 p.m.
The Bears still have a chance to make the conference tournament, depending upon how Mid-Alaska conference rival Houston finishes the season. Houston still has several conference games on its schedule. If the Bears do make the tournament, they could be playing West Valley in the first round.
Prior to the game, the parents of the JDHS seniors took the ice with their sons for the traditional Senior Night ceremony. Zane Chapman, John Kenyon, Robin Woodby, Chris Budbill, Jake Eames, Nick Rutecki and Nick Mow are the graduating seniors for JDHS. Assistant coach Tom Rutecki was among the parents there to honor his son.
"Everybody said we were crazy, that it would never work," he said. "Here we are today in our fifth season."
Senior night photos will appear in Monday's paper.