The Juneau-Douglas High School hockey team sings the national anthem prior to its game against Homer at Treadwell Arena on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2019. JDHS coaches Luke Adams and Matt Boline honored 12 seniors prior to the start of the game, the final varsity home match of the season. (Courtesy Photo | Carol Lahnum/CrowFoxPhotography.com)

The Juneau-Douglas High School hockey team sings the national anthem prior to its game against Homer at Treadwell Arena on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2019. JDHS coaches Luke Adams and Matt Boline honored 12 seniors prior to the start of the game, the final varsity home match of the season. (Courtesy Photo | Carol Lahnum/CrowFoxPhotography.com)

Hockey seniors play superbly in final varsity home game

Crimson Bears score four goals in first period

Everything about the Juneau-Douglas High School hockey team’s senior night seemed big: the standing room only crowd, the laminated prints of the seniors adorning the walls and even the custom player buttons being sold in the Treadwell Arena lobby.

For a senior class that never did things halfway, it was a fitting way to recognize their final high school hockey game in Juneau which took place Saturday night.

“All they wanted was to play high school hockey,” JDHS coach Luke Adams said. “They watched people do it before them, and they’re just passionate about the program.”

The on-ice result showed just that.

Four seniors — Ronan Lynch, Bill Bosse, Tyler Weldon, Greyson Liebelt — scored to carry JDHS to a 7-3 victory over Homer. Just about all 12 seniors recorded assists in the win, including Owen Squires, Cully Corrigan, Kyler Alderfer, Finn Yerkes and Dalton Hoy, junior Cody Mitchell stopped 26 of 29 shots in net. Homer’s Hunter Warren turned aside 20 of 27.

[Juneau hockey faces first overtime of the season against Homer]

“Emotions were super high,”senior Blake Bixby said. “It was definitely an unforgettable night, and we just had to leave it all on the ice. It’s pretty sad it’s the last time doing this.”

JDHS scored three goals in the first five minutes of the game, showcasing its teamwork on goals just 21 seconds apart from each other. On the first goal, Hoy passed to Squires, whose shot created a rebound for Ronan Lynch to bury.

“That was a good, important goal because I think the team that would score the first goal in the game was going to win,” Squires said.

Moments later, Bosse set up sophomore Chance Turinsky for a 2-0 lead. JDHS added two more goals by the first intermission — but so too did Homer — to make it 4-2 at the first intermission.

JDHS called for back-to-back penalties 52 seconds apart in the second period, and Ethan Pitzman’s powerplay goal made it 4-3. But Homer could get no closer while Bosse, Weldon and Liebelt piled on more goals over the remaining period and a half.

Homer came into the weekend just one game behind JDHS in the Railbelt Conference standings, and was fresh off a 6-3 victory over Soldotna, the team responsible for two of the Crimson Bears’ five losses this season. But the team has had to weather several injuries, according to coach Steve Nevak, leaving them not as deep as they were earlier in the year.

“We were running two lines and it was just too much,” Nevak said. “Juneau — give it to them — they were big. They dump the puck, they chase (the puck), they play hard. They were the first to the puck every play it seemed. We ain’t going to win when we’re allowing that.”

The JDHS varsity — who will rest against Tri Valley this week — finishes out the regular season a perfect 6-0 at home. Their focus now lies on the Division II state championships next Thursday through Saturday at the Curtis Menard Sports Complex in Wasilla. It will be Juneau, Homer and three other teams’ first stab at the Division II crown following the recent reclassification of teams.

“Congratulations to their seniors,” Nevak said. “What an awesome senior night. That’s the senior night that you want.”


• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.


More in Sports

Thomas Waerner, of Norway, celebrates in Nome his win in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Waerner is still waiting to return to his home in Norway. Waerner and his 16 dogs have been stranded in Alaska by travel restrictions and flight cancellations caused by the coronavirus pandemic. (Marc Lester | Anchorage Daily News via AP, File)
Virus strands Norway racer in Alaska after Iditarod win

Man and 16 dogs been stranded in Alaska by travel restrictions and flight cancellations.

JDHS baseball coaches bid farewell to seniors

We will never know how good we would have been. I do know that we would have worked hard all year

Sosan Monsef hands off the baton to teammate Sadie Tuckwood during the 2018 Alaska Track and Field State Championships. (Courtesy Photo | For JDHS Track & Field)
JDHS track and field coaches bid farewell to seniors

The 2020 Track & Field season was looking to be one for the record books.

TMHS baseball coaches bid farewell to seniors

Unfortunately, these fine young men will never get to know what it… Continue reading

JDHS boys soccer coaches bid farewell to seniors

These seniors had a great run during their years playing soccer at JDHS.

TMHS softball coaches bid farewell to seniors

The Falcon softball team and coaching staff wishes the best to our five graduating seniors

JDHS softball coaches bid farewell to seniors

We were looking forward to having a successful season with our four seniors leading our team.

Eva Goering signs her committement to play college soccer for North Idaho College. (Courtesy photo | Heidi Johnson)
Double trouble: Two JDHS soccer players headed to Idaho together

They’ve been playing together for a decade.

Braden Jenkins has committed to playing college basketball at Luther College. (Courtesy photo | John Blasco)
Thunder Mountain trio signs to play college basketball

The last time three players signed in one year was 2014.

Courtesy Photo | Eldred Rock Lighthouse Preservation Association
                                A fundraiser run benefiting a nonprofit focused on preserving and protecting Eldred Rock Lighthouse, seen in this photo, will be a virtual event this year. Runners can complete a course located on Pioneer Road on Douglas at any time April 12-18 and submit their results electronically.
Lighthouse-protecting nonprofit isn’t running out of fundraising ideas

With virtually every other event canceled or postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic,… Continue reading