The Juneau-Douglas High School hockey team’s record rose about .500 as it outscored its opponent by four or more goals for the fourth straight game on Saturday at Treadwell Arena.
Senior Bill Bosse and sophomore Chance Turninsky chipped in two goals and senior Owen Squires added another for the Crimson Bears, who improve to 4-3 and 4-0 in the Railbelt Conference.
“This is the best team I’ve played on. I’ve been playing hockey since I was three — so that’s something to say,” said Turinsky, who pumped his arms emphatically after his wrist shot late in the second period put his team ahead 3-0.
Houston junior Josh Smolden was the player of the game for periods one and two. The netminder stopped 23 of 26 shots in that span, giving the Hawks’ hopes of a comeback in the third period trailing 3-0.
It wouldn’t happen, though.
JDHS piled on two quick goals, and more than doubled its lead by the final minute of the game, when Bosse gunned the puck past Smolden’s glove for an unassisted power-play goal. Houston senior Riley Scott briefly made it 4-1 with his goal with 12:41 remaining the period.
JDHS goalie Wolf Dostal finished with eight saves.
The speed of defensemen Greyson Liebelt, Cameron Smith and Ethan Welch created problems for Houston. JDHS coach Luke Adams gave his defensemen permission to skate freely with the puck, trusting their offensive instincts.
“We want to create an atmosphere where the defensemen join the rush,” Adams said. “Given the speed and skill of our defensemen, they like to do it. It’s definitely an offensive weapon, and the kids will back each other up when they do decide to push offensively and start the rush.”
Houston coach Lane Styers admitted JDHS was a “big, strong, fast team,” but felt the Crimson Bears were not held accountable for several big hits on his players, one of which left the game with a concussion.
“He got two hands or a hand and an elbow right to his head,” Styers said.
Adams said he doesn’t see a problem with his team’s hard-hitting ways.
“We like to play a physical game of hockey and our kids like that style,” he said. “As long as we can keep reinforcing how to make good, clean contact, we want to play our game. And the physical game is our game.”
JDHS has four more conference games on slate Dec. 12-15 against Kenai and Soldotna before the holiday break. The Crimson Bears have two more home series left on the season. JDHS hosts the Homer Mariners Jan. 18-19 and the Tri-Valley Warriors Jan. 25-26.