Juneau Squirts place second at state

Posted: Monday, March 17, 2008

JUNEAU - The Juneau Douglas Ice Association Black Bears placed second overall at the Alaska State Hockey Association Squirt Tier D Tournament in Anchorage on March 7-9.

The Squirt division is for ages 10 or younger.

Juneau won four straight before falling to the Healy Coal Kings 7-3 at the Dempsey-Anderson Arena in Anchorage. The Black Bears opened the tourney with a loss to Healy before rattling off four straight wins.

"The way this team played in the state tournament really turned some heads in Anchorage," Juneau coach Tom Ainsworth wrote in a release. "It was so satisfying to see this group of young people pull together after our opening loss, support each other, and play so well, so unselfishly, as a team. No one player dominated for our team. We had different heroes every game."

After falling 7-1 to Healy on March 7, Juneau rebounded to top the Anchorage Coyotes 6-4. Michael Dale, Ty Scott, Ryan Liebelt and Kasey Watts scored goals in the win. Liebelt's goal broke a 4-4 tie with 6:33 left in regulation.

In the final, Juneau fell behind 6-1 after the first period as Healy's Jon Kurtz and Richie Stickle led the way with goals. Kurtz and Stickle accounted for 11 of the Coal Kings' 14 goals against Juneau.

Grant Ainsworth and Shane Moller scored in the third period of the final for Juneau.

Juneau goaltender Hunter Hickok stopped nine of 10 shots after the first period.

Each player on Juneau's roster, except for the goalie, recorded a point during the tournament.

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