Luke Bovitz (#4 in white jersey) looks to take a shot for Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé against Kodiak High School on Saturday night at Treadwell Arena. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Luke Bovitz (#4 in white jersey) looks to take a shot for Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé against Kodiak High School on Saturday night at Treadwell Arena. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

JDHS dominates the battle of the bears

Crimson Bears’ varsity hockey team defeats Kodiak Bears 7-1, 6-1 in games with similar tracks.

This article has been updated to correct the name of one of the JDHS players scoring a goal.

Call it the survival of the fastest.

The Crimson Bears of Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé preyed upon the visiting Bears from Kodiak High School in back-to-back hockey games at Treadwell Arena on Friday and Saturday, winning by respective scores of 7-1 and 6-1. In both games JDHS jumped out to early leads as Kodiak kept the score somewhat competitive during the first two periods, only to have the Crimson Bears break the games open with high-scoring third periods.

Crimson Bears head coach Matt Boline said he thinks his team played better Saturday despite the slightly lower margin of victory.

“Last night we kind of had a slow start, we weren’t really doing things right, we weren’t managing the puck that great,” he said immediately after the second game. “And the team was a little bit better in the second and the third was really good. I think tonight we played in the first period a lot like the third period last night. But the second and third periods tonight were much better, far of a more complete game, managing the puck well in our defensive zone, getting pucks on the net in the other zone and crashing the net.”

Emerson Newell (12), is congratulated by teammates after the sophomore scores his first goal for the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé varsity hockey team to make the score 6-1 against Kodiak High School on Saturday night at Treadwell Arena. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Emerson Newell (12), is congratulated by teammates after the sophomore scores his first goal for the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé varsity hockey team to make the score 6-1 against Kodiak High School on Saturday night at Treadwell Arena. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Kodiak (1-6 overall, 0-4 in the Northern Lights Conference) “has come a long way since last year,” but JDHS (6-3-1 overall, 3-1 conference) has a manpower advantage with a roster of 20 compared to about 15 for the visiting team, Boline said. Some of the visiting players were overheard saying they were having trouble keeping up with the locals, which Boline also cited as an advantage.

“We have more legs to go deeper into the game, and I think our overall team speed is there and in control of the puck,” he said.

JDHS on Friday jumped out to a 1-0 lead within the first two minutes of the first period, then added two more in the second period before Kodiak responded with one of their own with about two minutes remaining. But the Crimson Bears responded with four goals in the third period to dominate the opening game.

Luke Bovitz and Matthew Plang each scored two goals for JDHS, with Caden Johns, Emilo Holbrook and Eliot Welch scoring one apiece.

Caleb Friend (1) defends a shot on goal for Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé with help from Luke Bovitz (4) against Kodiak High School at Treadwell Arena on Saturday. Friend allowed two goals on 31 shots during games JDHS won decisively on Friday and Saturday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Caleb Friend (1) defends a shot on goal for Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé with help from Luke Bovitz (4) against Kodiak High School at Treadwell Arena on Saturday. Friend allowed two goals on 31 shots during games JDHS won decisively on Friday and Saturday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Shots by each team were as dominant as the score, with JDHS outshooting Kodak 38-11.

The pattern was largely similar on Saturday, with Camden Kovach scoring an unassisted goal for JDHS within 72 seconds of the start of the game. That was followed by a power play goal by Dylan Sowa three minutes later. The start of the second period also started fast for the Crimson Bears, with Holbrook making the score 3-0 with a goal 68 seconds into the period.

JDHS scored two goals within 18 seconds in the third period, with Welch scoring with 10:07 remaining and sophomore Paxton Mertl scoring his first goal for the Crimson Bears varsity with 9:49 remaining. Kodiak stuck back with a quick goal of its own by Marek Wyszkowski with 9:16 remaining before Juneau completed the scoring with a goal by Emerson Newell —another sophomore also making his first goal for the team — with 6:47 remaining.

Juneau’s shot count wasn’t quite as dominant Saturday, with 47 compared to 21 for Kodiak, but Boline said the score could have been far more one-sided with a few breaks.

Dylan Sowa (35) of Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé checks Miles Grimes of Kodiak High School as Camden Kovach claims the puck during Saturday’s game at Treadwell Arena. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Dylan Sowa (35) of Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé checks Miles Grimes of Kodiak High School as Camden Kovach claims the puck during Saturday’s game at Treadwell Arena. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

“Even though it’s 6-1 it could easily have been 16-1,” he said. “In the first period we hit like six posts, in the second period we hit four posts. And when you hit the post all it takes is a half an inch the other way.”

JDHS plays two more home games next Friday and Saturday against Palmer High School (10-2-1 overall, 3-0 conference). Boline said that team is large, well-coached and defeated Soldotna High School (6-3 overall, 3-2 conference) during the weekend.

“It’s going to be a good matchup, and I think it’ll be between us, them and Soldotna battling for the number one overall seed in the conference,” he said.

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com or (907) 957-2306.

Youths face off in an abbreviated match between the first and second periods of Saturday’s game between Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé and Kodiak High School at Treadwell Arena. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Youths face off in an abbreviated match between the first and second periods of Saturday’s game between Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé and Kodiak High School at Treadwell Arena. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

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