The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears hockey team defeated the North Pole Patriots on Friday to end the regular season.
Friday’s contest was more than just another game, however. The 4-2 victory occurred during JDHS’ senior night where the team’s six seniors were honored.
“Emotions run high on senior night,” JDHS coach Luke Adams said after the game.
As predicted by Adams, the Patriots came out ready to play. North Pole standout forward Darren Donovan scored just 27 seconds into the game to give the Patriots an early lead.
Down 1-0, JDHS charged back with four unanswered goals in the first period. The first was a backhanded goal scored by Kasey Watts off a rebound. Ryan Liebelt followed that with a goal with 5 minutes left in the first period.
The next goal would be scored 15 seconds later when a wall of Crimson Bears players crashed the net, led by Hunter Pegues. The final Crimson Bear goal was scored by Liebelt through traffic from the left side.
The JDHS defense was again strong, with many of North Pole’s shots knocked down before they could reach goalie Kyle Farley-Robison. Farley-Robinson stopped 18 shots on the night.
The Patriot’s final goal of the night occurred half way into the second period.
Seniors Chase Barnum, Zach Hebert, Hunter Pegues, Natalie Johansen, Ryan Moritz, and Oscar Jones were honored during a pregame ceremony to start the night.
The magnitude of the moment was not lost on the players.
“This might be my last organized hockey game,” said Hebert, whose aunt and uncle traveled from Vermont to view the game.
JDHS 6, NORTH POLE 3
The JDHS hockey team was victorious Thursday night over North Pole, 6-3.
Although the Crimson Bear’s put up six goals, it was their consistent defense that was key to the victory. JDHS built its lead early and led 4-1 at the end of the first period. Through the first two periods North Pole was only able to get eight shots on goal.
Zach Hebert had a ferocious game for the Crimson Bears, scoring two goals and two assists, but it was his defense that was even more spectacular. Hebert seemed to be everywhere — leaping in the air to knock down passes with his hand, body checks and one defensive move in which he seemed to be beaten but then turned 360 degrees to regain his position and knock the puck away to the excitement of the crowd.
Oscar Jones scored first for JDHS about five minutes into the game. Hebert scored his first goal with five minutes remaining in the first period and begin a scoring flourish that would prove to be the difference in the game. His shot would cap a fierce assault by the Crimson Bears, who unleashed four shots on goal within a span of 10 seconds, three of them slap shots. Junior Quin Gist then scored minutes later on a back-door wraparound to make it 3-1. With 22 seconds left in the period, Kasey Watts scored on a rebound opportunity with a backhanded shot.
Hebert and Gist would each score again in the third period to round out the scoring for the Crimson Bears. Cody Frarey was credited with two goals for the Patriots and Darren Donovan got the assist on those goals and scored one himself. Taylor Armbruster got the start at goalie for the Patriots, stopping 23 shots. Kyle Farley-Robinson stopped 13 of 16 shots that came his way.
The games at Treadwell have a bearing on the tournament positioning, JDHS coach Luke Adams said.