The Soldotna hockey team got a hat trick from Daniel Heath in defeating Homer 9-0 on Thursday in Northern Lights Conference play at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.
The Stars are now 9-5 overall and 5-3 in the league, while the Mariners are 2-11 and 0-9.
The last game for both teams was against each other — SoHi defeated Homer 2-1 in Homer on Jan. 11.
Soldotna head coach Anthony Zurfluh said the story of that game was Homer goalie Blaise Banks. Banks kept it going in the first period Thursday, stopping all 19 shots he faced.
“They’ve got a goaltender that can play,” Zurfluh said. “We had to figure out how to get creative and how to beat him.
“Once we found a way around him, we went to work on him.”
Just 29 seconds into the second period, Gehret Medcoff broke the ice on an assist from Aiden Stinnett.
Then SoHi went to work on special teams. Heath and Jace Appelhans both had unassisted, short-handed goals, then with 2.1 seconds left in the second period the Stars went up 4-0 when Appelhans scored on the power play with help from Heath and Boone Theiler.
“We had a couple of kids with monkeys on their back that were just having a hard time getting the puck in the net,” Zurfluh said. “We got what we needed to really open things up again.”
The goals kept coming in the third period. In the first five minutes, Theiler scored on the power play with help from Appelhans and Andrew Arthur, Heath scored on a Medcoff assist and Marshall Deraeve scored on the power play with help from Theiler and Appelhans.
Zurfluh said it’s nice to have two lines cooking — Heath, Medcoff and Luke Stuber, and Theiler, Appelhans and Deraeve.
The coach said he was able to play four lines and six defensemen Thursday, as well as getting some freshmen in at the end.
In the final five minutes of the game, Heath finished his hat trick on an Arthur assist and Medcoff scored unassisted.
Banks ended up making 47 saves for Homer, while Brycen Clyde stopped nine for the Stars.
Zurfluh said it was the perfect game as the Stars prepare to finish the regular season, then try to defend their Division II state title at the sports complex from Feb. 1 to 3.
Kenai Central 4, Palmer 3
Avery Martin had two goals and an assist as Kenai defeated Palmer in Northern Lights Conference action at the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility on Friday.
The Kardinals moved to 10-7-1 overall and 6-1 in the league by defeating the Moose for the first time in three tries this season.
The Moose got on the board a little over two minutes into the game when Zidane Dietz scored on assists from Brandon Horacek and Kinan Greco.
Martin would put the Kardinals up 2-1 by the end of the first period. His first goal was assisted by Will Howard and Logan Mese, while the second was assisted by Mese and Sawyer Vann.
Palmer scored early in the second, with Greco lighting the lamp with help from Clayton Conrad and Tavian Mukaabya.
A little over two minutes later, at the 11:16 mark, Everett Chamberlain had the Kards up 3-2 on helpers from Mason Vermette and Gavin Liles.
Palmer again answered with 8:14 left in the second when Greco scored on Bradford Heard and Sawyer Nelius assists.
The game-winner came with 4:49 left to play in the game, with Mese burying on assists from Martin and Ethan Tree.