The Juneau-Douglas High School hockey team toppled North Pole Friday evening at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Patty Center Ice Arena, earning the right to play for the Mid Alaska Conference Championship.
The number-two-seeded Crimson Bears bested number-three-seeded North Pole 3-1 and earned a shot at the conference title against top-seeded West Valley at 7:15 p.m. today.
As JDHS has come to expect, their tournament game against North Pole was a nail-biter. The Crimson Bears operated with only a one goal lead from halfway into the second period until the closing seconds of the game. With only 25 seconds left, JDHS junior Quin Gist slotted his team’s third goal, sealing the 3-1 victory.
JDHS freshman Bill Bosse, with an assist from sophomore Kasey Watts, opened scoring at 12:05 in the first. At 5:13 in the second period, Bosse found senior Zach Hebert for JDHS’ second goal.
North Pole’s Cody Frarey had his team’s only goal, scoring with 3:06 left in the first, tying the game for almost a full period.
The JDHS boys enjoyed their success after the win as this marks the first time in program history they will be playing for the Mid Alaska Conference title.
“It was an emotional game for us, the highs and lows really tested our character and I’m really proud of our guys,” JDHS coach Luke Adams said. “It was a great night for the program.”
While coach Adams and the team enjoyed their landmark win last night, today they are completely focused on the task ahead: playing one of the state’s best in the West Valley Wolf Pack.
West Valley is the number-one ranked team in the Mid Alaska Conference and has one of the state’s best records at 17-2.
“West Valley is a powerhouse team,” Adams said. “They move the puck efficiently and they’re very fast. We’re expecting our defense to be really important. We’ll look to throw a wrench in their game-plan and create opportunities on the counter attack.”
JDHS faces off against West Valley for the Mid Alaska Conference Championships at 7:15 p.m. tonight at the UAF Patty Center Ice Arena.