The Juneau-Douglas High School hockey team finally took the ice against Lathrop on Saturday night, and received a rude welcome to the Mid-Alaska Conference, losing 8-0.
The Lathrop team had been stranded in Sitka all day Friday, forcing the teams to reschedule their early game to Saturday morning. Another delay then whittled the schedule down to the single night game. The second game of the series will be a lunch-break special today at 1:30 p.m.
"They're a good bunch of guys and, thankfully, they were gracious enough to reschedule again so the schools wouldn't face the expense of a makeup game later on down the line," JDHS coach Dave McKenna said.
The Crimson Bears (7-2 overall, 0-1 MAC) simply could not contain Lathrop's quick, skilled offensive players in their first game as a member of the 4A conference. The Malemutes jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period before tacking on two more in the second and another trio in the third.
"There's no quick fixes for us. I guess it wasn't our best game either," McKenna said. "Our varsity kids were still pretty rusty after the break and after sitting our second game against Su Valley."
While the scoreboard got ugly, the action on the ice stayed relatively clean. The Crimson Bears had been working on physical defense all week, but were at a loss when the Lathrop offensive machine got revved up.
"We worked hard all game long. Now, it's just a matter of being smarter on the ice," McKenna said. "A few of our defensemen started picking up on the offsides players that were sneaking up behind us. As a whole, we can do better and I think we will."
Another full house cheered on the Juneau-Douglas squad to the bitter end, and McKenna hopes his team can get another helping hand at today's match.
"It's good hockey to watch, even if we're on the losing end," he said.
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