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In the second game of the weekend series between Juneau-Douglas (5-6-0) and the Lathrop Malemutes (7-4-0), the Crimson Bears took an early 2-0 lead only to see it disappear in a hectic second period in which they were outshot 22-5 on their way to a 5-2 loss at the hands of their conference foe.
Juneau-Douglas looked at times overmatched and overwhelmed, yet still turned in a gritty performance that showed great improvement from the night before.
Head coach Dave McKenna said although his team has yet to play a full game of consistent hockey, there were positives that came out of this weekend.
"During the second period we just lost our focus on the things we've been working on defensively," McKenna said. "We need to learn to play three periods of good, disciplined hockey, and we haven't done that yet. We learn as we go and we're still pretty inexperienced compared to a squad like Lathrop, but I think we saw some growth this weekend.
"It's just baby steps for us at this point and time, but they're a tough team and they'll take advantage of any mistake you make out there," he said.
The Crimson Bears spent most of the first period on the defensive end as Lathrop kept constant pressure on the JDHS side of the ice. The Bears struggled to put anything together offensively until late in the period when Billy Holbrook found a streaking Trevor Held who weaved through the Lathrop defense on his way to an open breakaway, beating the goalkeeper with a nifty wrist shot that gave JDHS an early 1-0 lead. The Crimson Bears held the edge going into the first intermission despite being outshot 9-3.
The Bears didn't have to wait long for their second goal as Marc Heifetz found the net on a sharp, one-timer off a well placed assist from Freshmen Zach Easton less than three minutes into the period.
But the Malemutes answered back at the 6:07 mark with a power play goal from Robert Trujillo off a Chayce Franklin assist to cut the deficit to one. This goal proved to be a major momentum shift as Lathrop took control from there, outshooting JDHS 22-5 during the second period.
JDHS goalkeeper Garrett Cheeseman did all he could to limit the damage, turning away a flurry of Lathrop shots near the end of the period during an intense power-play situation, but Trujillo finally found the net for his second goal of the game off another Franklin assist to knot the score at two.
Anders Carlson gave the Malemutes their first lead of the night at the 12:14 mark with a goal off a deflected shot by teammate Dawson Hebard. Trujillo recorded a hat trick with his third goal of the game with 30 seconds to go in the period off another deflected shot, this time by Colton Wolter, to extend the Lathrop lead to two goals.
Alex Timchak tacked on another score in the third period off a Hebard assist, and the Crimson Bears were unable to answer back as they fell 5-2.
Cheeseman turned in another gutsy performance in the net, saving 34 of 39 shots on goal while Lathrop's goalkeeper, Brandon Brown, turned away 13 shots in the win.
JDHS takes on Homer next week at home.
Bears Fall to Malamutes 4-0 on Friday Night
The Lathrop Malamutes (6-4-0) blanked the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears (5-5-0) in 4-0 fashion, on Friday night at Treadwell Arena, outshooting JDHS 38-24 for the game.
JDHS Head coach Dave McKenna said although he was pleased with his team's effort in the first period, they are still struggling to play consistently for a full game.
"I thought we had a good first period and played some of our best defense, we just need to find a way to do that for three periods straight," McKenna said. "Hopefully we'll learn from an experience like this and take a look at the difference between them and us and what it takes to get there.