The Juneau-Douglas high school hockey team is headed back to the Alaska School Activities Association state championships.
Juneau’s Jacob Dale and Niko Hebert scored less than 3 minutes apart from each other to complete a 3-2 comeback win over North Pole in Friday’s Mid Alaska Conference semifinal game.
The Crimson Bears’ win sets up a match Saturday with West Valley — winner takes the MAC conference trophy. Both No. 1 and No. 2 conference seeds receive automatic bids to the state tournament March 9-11 in Wasilla.
“They came out pretty strong and it took us a while — at least until the third period — to adapt to their play,” JDHS goaltender Kyle Farley-Robinson said by cellphone. “We played them last year in the same position, we had to beat them to get to the state tournament, and we did, so I think this year they really wanted to beat us.”
A second-period goal by North Pole’s Brandon Groesbeck gave his team a 2-1 lead heading into the third period. But according to Crimson Bear head coach Luke Adams, that’s when the tide shifted.
“You could tell the momentum was in our favor once the puck dropped in the third [period],” he said.
Dale’s goal came at the 5:21 mark of the third, followed up by Hebert’s at 8:13. Quin Gist, Ryan Liebelt, and Cahal Morehouse assisted on the goals.
JDHS’ Dalton Hoy tied the game 1-1 just 56 seconds into the second period. The tie was not long-lived however, as the Patriots scored their second and final goal at 7:50 of the second.
The results of Saturday’s game will be available at juneauempire.com and in Tuesday’s print edition.
Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org